"Time to fire some people" at AIG: Barney Frank

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Amid simmering outrage over $165 million in bonuses paid to executives at ailing AIG, Representative Barney Frank said Monday it may be time to fire some people at the insurance giant.

“These people may have a right to their bonuses but they don’t have a right to their jobs forever,” Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat who heads the House Financial Services Committee, said on NBC’s “Today” program.

AIG has received $173 billion in federal bailout money and is at the heart of a global financial crisis that President Barack Obama is trying to address with plans for trillions of dollars in spending.

“The federal government now is the 80 percent owner (of AIG),” Frank said. “These bonuses are going to people who screwed this thing up enormously ... Since the federal government ... now essentially owns that company, maybe it’s time to fire some people.”

Writing by Deborah Zabarenko; Editing by Bill Trott