AIG CEO: Critics of Taxpayer Funded Bonuses are “Lynch Mobs with Pitchforks”

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August 27, 2009

[efoods]“We have the ability. I know that I am telling people we are allowed to,” he said. “What I don’t know is if people (employees) are willing to. A lot of them feel hurt, embarrassed, a lot of people have lived in fear because of what I call lynch mobs with pitchforks.”

Benmosche was referring to severe criticism of the bonuses paid to some AIG staff at the financial products unit at the center of its meltdown. The verbal assaults by politicians and in the media led to several demonstrations, including a bus tour of employee homes near the unit’s Wilton, Connecticut headquarters, and threats to others.

“People think it is funny but it is not when it is your children,” he continued, his voice rising in anger. “It is not when you come home and you find people in front of your home and you had to sneak your children out in the middle of the night so that they are not attacked in a country called America.”

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