AIG's bonuses are indeed 'distasteful' but good luck getting them back

As American International Group Inc. (AIG) Chief Executive Edward M. Liddy awaits his tar and feathering later today before Congress, he is desperately trying to save his job.

Writing in The Washington Post, Liddy says he shares the public's outrage over the $165 million in bonuses awarded to executives at the troubled company, but that there was no legal reason they could be stopped. "Make no mistake, had I been chief executive at the time, I would never have approved the retention contracts that were put in place more than a year ago," he writes. "It was distasteful to have to make these payments."