Flashback: In October, Obama Said That AIG Execs 'Should Be Fired' for Their Excesses
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Earlier this week, after the AIG bonuses were revealed, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) called for the replacement of company executives. â€œSince the federal government â€¦ now essentially owns that company, maybe itâ€™s time to fire some people.â€ Frank told ThinkProgress that, â€œwhen you are trying to undo something, it is often not the case that the people who did it are the ones to put in place.â€ So far, however, the administration has not embraced Frankâ€™s call.
Last fall, as Wall Street crumbled and just one week after the federal government bailed out AIG, the firmâ€™s executives spent $440,000 on manicures, facials, pedicures, and massages at a luxury resort in California. At the time, Obama was a vocal proponent of firing AIG executives. During an October 7, 2008 presidential debate with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), candidate Obama declared, â€œthose executives should be firedâ€:
OBAMA: It means we are cracking down on CEOs and making sure that they are not getting bonuses or golden parachutes as a consequence of this package [TARP]. In fact, we just found that AIG â€” a company that got a bailout â€” just a week after they got help, went on a $400,000 junket. Iâ€™ll tell you what. Treasury should demand that money back, and those executives should be fired.
Satyam Khanna is a Research Associate for The Progress Report and ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress.