Tom Edsall sifts through the evidence here. One intriguing piece of the picture:
One of the AIG officials most concerned with the employee retention plan was William Dooley, head of AIG's financial services division (AIGFP). Dooley oversees the division that engaged in the transactions - credit default swaps -- widely viewed as the cause of the collapse of AIG.
In an October 22, 2008 email obtained by the Huffington Post -- the authenticity of which was affirmed by AIG Senior VP for Communications Nicholas J. Ashooh -- Dooley sought to reassure his staff: many staffers were depending on bonuses for their entire yearly income, having agreed to work without salary. Dooley wrote:
As promised, I want to keep you apprised of any new developments. Earlier today, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo confirmed with AIG that the Deferred Compensation Plan and Special Incentive Plan accounts will have negative balances as the end of the current compensation year. The Attorney General has made clear that he was only referring to the DCP and SIP. I want to make clear to you that, as I indicated in my October 3 and October 9 letters to you, AIGFP will live up to its commitment of honoring your retention guarantees under the terms of the Employee Retention Plan ('ERP'). Accordingly, the non-deferred portions of the Guaranteed Retention awards under ERP will be paid by AIGFP and, under the terms of the ERP, those payments are guaranteed by AIG.
I've said before I think these what-did-he-know/when-did-he-know-it timelines can get pretty absurd. But Cuomo has been so sanctimonious about this stuff I think it's more than justified in his case.