Members of a congressional panel interrogating AIG CEO Edward Liddy on Wednesday repeatedly asked that he release the names of executives who were on the good end of $165 million in bonus payments.
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the Financial Services Committee, requested the names and threatened to subpoena them. Reps. Mike Castle (R-Del.) and Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) seconded and thirded the plea.
Liddy said he was glad to comply as long as he could be "absolutely assured that they will remain confidential."
Frank said no confidentiality would be given. Liddy refused to give the names, citing the safety of his workers.
"Let me just read two things to you," said Liddy. "'All the executives and their family should be executed with piano wire around their necks. My greatest hope: If the government can't do this properly, we the people will take it in our own hands and see that justice is done. I'm looking for all the CEO's names, their kids, where they live, etc.' You have a legitimate request. I want to protect the well being of our employees."
Frank was unconvinced. "I understand that. Many of us get these kinds of threats. Clearly, those threats are despicable," he said.
"At this point, I am not persuaded, but I will ask, before we act, that we get information from the security people before we vote" on a subpoena, he said, arguing that "if we give into those kind of threats we would never get information to the public about a lot of things."
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has already subpoenaed the names. Liddy, under questioning from Ackerman, said he would consult with his lawyers about the subpoena and do the "right thing."
"Does the right thing include complying with legal requests from attorneys general?" Ackerman asked.
Liddy didn't answer.
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