FROM Dean Starkman
AIG: Political Outrage and Financial Stability President Obama said today he shares public outrage over bonuses paid to failed executives with public money. Meantime, the head of the failed insurance giant AIG told Congress he would never have approved the contracts that required those bonuses to be paid. Is there a way to get the money back? Why are executives given incentives for assuming so much risk that they threaten the world's financial stability? What's AIG doing to pay back at least some of its $200 billion government bailout? We ask those and other questions.
AIG, a Bottomless Pit for Bailout Money? American International Group , the world's largest insurance company, got $150 billion in federal bailout money in the last quarter of 2008 and still lost $62 billion. The Obama administration has promised AIG $30 billion more. Today an angry Senate Finance Committee threatened not to go along, unless it finds out where that federal money is going. But the Federal Reserve said revealing AIG's creditors would destroy the company, which is so big it could take the world's financial system along with it. How did it get that way? Where has all that taxpayer money been going? Is there an option to pouring in billions more?
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?