Josh Marshall on AIG:
Employment and compensation contracts aren't the issue here. That is a distraction. Think more in terms of RICO. Let us know more about the on-going criminal probe.
As Josh says, we need to take a broader view of AIG's malfeasance. We are all justifiably outraged by AIG's handling of the bonus issue. But if it turns out that AIG was involved in a criminal conspiracy to commit fraud, the bonuses will take care of themselves.
It's unrealistic to expect Tim Geithner to adequately address either either issue -- the potential criminal wrongdoing, or the bonuses. He's got enough on his plate trying to stabilize the financial system and usher in an economic recovery.
But the Obama Administration does have a responsibility not just to make sure taxpayers don't get screwed, but also enforce the rule of law. That's why there's a Department of Justice, and that's the job of the Attorney General.
So the White House would be wise to put Eric Holder in charge of sorting through the dirty underside of the AIG bailout. If there was criminal activity, bring the perpetrators to justice. And if not, who better to seek every legal remedy for retrieving the "failure bonuses" than the government's top lawyer?
Let Geithner deal with righting financial ship. But for justice and matters of law, it's time to get serious and hand things over to the DOJ.