Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

AIG's post-bailout spa retreat

In September, a week after American International Group received an $85 billion bailout from the federal government — ostensibly to rescue the insurance company from financial ruin — 70 of its top performers enjoyed a lavish, weeklong retreat at the Tuscan-inspired St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, Calif. The trip, which cost more than $400,000, featured banquets, golf outings and spa treatments. Less than 24 hours after the news of the junket broke, the Federal Reserve announced it had agreed to give AIG an additional loan of up to $37.8 billion. A few weeks later, in a similarly tone-deaf move, the heads of Detroit's Big Three auto makers flew private jets to Washington to beg Congress for money.