We have this image that we use for New York’s attorney general Andrew Cuomo: the tights, the cape, the satisfied grin in short, a superhero. It’s been Cuomo and his unique powers (of subpoena) that have stood up against bonuses wherever and whenever they’ve turned up to threaten our peaceful, God-fearing, performance-based society. He’s played a leading role during the current AIG outrage fest, revealing the true extent of the company’s compensation packages. But Newsday reminds us that the Bonus Buster actually has a more nuanced outlook on bonuses than you might expect.
In fact, ages ago, long before the AIG bonus outrage fest — in, uh, October — Cuomo defended “retention arrangements” following a meeting with AIG CEO Edward Liddy. “These actions are not intended to jeopardize the hard-earned compensation of the vast majority of AIG’s employees, including retention and severance arrangements, who are essential to rebuilding AIG and the economy of New York,” Cuomo asserted in a joint statement with Liddy. Hard-earned? Essential? Cuomo doesn’t sound quite so supportive of such payments these days, and it’s a good thing too, because we doubt that spandex suit guards against pitchforks.