Don't let the AIG brouhaha divert us from the real task at hand


Like John Thain's million-dollar Merrill Lynch office redecorating fiasco, the AIG bonus scandal has the capacity to become what University of Connecticut Professor Emeritus of Political Science David E. RePass calls an "issue-public" capable of producing substantive economic change.

The task for policy makers is to get ahead of public opinion and find a way to both limit the bonuses paid by AIG (AIG) and other recipients of federal bailout money, while at the same time keeping the players in place who are critical to stabilizing the banking system. President Obama was busy over the weekend doing just that, and if they're smart, economic conservatives -- including most Congressional Republicans -- will do everything within their power to help the President on this one.