I suspect one of the reasons AIG got so much bailout money was because, not in spite of, its international obligations: that this was a way to keep some major European players from crashing when the system locked up last year. Of course, if it had been advertised that way, the taxpayers would have invited Congress to take a long walk off a short pier. Erroneously, I think.
The current sound and fury over the bonuses is disgusting.
I understand the reasons why Congress explicitly agreed to keep the bonuses in place: that's what the contracts said, it would be virtually impossible to find anybody to manage the place without them, and, most importantly, because AIG had contributed heavily to Obama and Dodd.
However, people noticed the bonuses and thought it bizarre to reward incompetence; and rather than explain themselves Dodd et al decided to try to lead a charge to punish the bankers who dared accept what Congress had permitted.
So we have what is arguably an “ex post facto” law, and inarguably a “bill of attainder.”
Possibly these Representatives never bothered to read the Constitution, and didn't realize what they were doing. Possibly they don't care. But there isn't any ambiguity about this bill. This isn't a matter of deciding whether phone calls overseas are private or not. The Constitution's language is pretty specific.
We should arrange the recall of 243 Democrats and 85 Republicans as rapidly as possible.