WASHINGTON, July 16 (UPI) -- Washington policymakers have changed their position on huge compensation programs at financial firms, a change for the better, Rep. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said.
When bailed out insurance company American International Group Inc. attempted to pay $165 million in bonuses in March, U.S. lawmakers reacted with outrage.
President Barack Obama said, "People are rightly outraged about these particular bonuses."
However, a recent AIG request to pay $235 million in bonuses has been met with hardly a ripple of response, Politico reported Thursday.
"I think they realized it (the rhetoric) almost got out of hand and it was a huge mistake," Corker said.
The argument has shifted as the financial system appears better able to fend for itself.
The Dow Jones industrial average has gained 2,000 points since March, Politico pointed out. Large payments are suddenly not as alarming.
"My problem is not the amounts; it's the extent to which they (bonus payments) give the wrong impression," said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., who is working on legislation to curb rewards for "excessive" risk on Wall Street.