Obama expresses outrage over AIG bonus payments

WASHINGTON, March 16 Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:24pm EDT

WASHINGTON, March 16 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama expressed outrage on Monday over insurance giant AIG's payment of millions of dollars in bonuses to employees from taxpayer bailout funds and said he had asked Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to pursue all legal avenues to block them.

"Under these circumstances, it's hard to understand how derivative traders at AIG warranted any bonuses, much less $165 million in extra pay," Obama said in remarks prepared for delivery at an event at the White House. "How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?"

"This is a corporation that finds itself in financial distress due to recklessness and greed," he added.

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