The House just passed a bill to return most of the ill-gotten AIG bonus money to taxpayers. But the most guilty villains are in London, immune from our silly laws, laughing at us.
Charles Rangel said AIG executives were "getting away with murder" on the floor of the House today in support of the bill, which would tax the bonuses at 90 percent. But a substantial subset of the scoundrels will get away with murder anyway, according to Bloomberg:
The legislation wouldn't attempt to impose the tax on foreign employees of companies such as AIG, said Ways and Means Committee spokesman Matthew Beck. Many of AIG's bonus recipients work in the London office of the credit-default swap unit.
The London office lost as much as a half a trillion dollars betting on exotic derivatives. Joseph Cassano, who ran the renegade unit for eight years, earned a total of $280 million while running it into oblivion. At least seven London office executives have been promised payouts of $3 million each. It's not clear precisely how much of the $165 million in bonus money is headed overseas, nor how much of that has been paid out thus far. But whatever has been paid is not coming back.