March 18, 2009 / 1:36 PM / in 10 years

AIG's Liddy says bonus payments were required

AIG Chief Executive Edward Liddy delivers a speech in Hong Kong December 11,2008. REUTERS/Woody Wu

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - American International Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Edward Liddy gave no indication the insurer would pull back bonuses to employees that have outraged Congress and the Obama administration.

“We have to continue managing our business as a business — taking into account the cold realities of competition for customers, for revenues and for employees,” Liddy said in congressional testimony obtained by Reuters. “Because of this, and because of certain legal obligations, AIG has recently made a set of compensation payments, some of which I find distasteful.”

AIG is surviving on three federal bailouts worth up to $180 billion, but it paid out $165 million in bonuses. The Obama administration and lawmakers are looking for ways to get the money back.

Reporting by Kristin Roberts; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio

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