March 26, 2009
by Christine Stuart | March 26, 2009 3:25pm
Stephen Blake, head of human resources for the beleaguered American International Group’s financial products division, testified Thursday at a Banks Committee public hearing on the retention bonuses the insurance giant paid to its executives after it received federal bailout funds.
Blake agreed to testify after AIG’s attorneys and the co-chairmen of the Banks Committee spent several days negotiating the 14 subpoenas they had issued to the company’s executives, none of whom agreed to testify Thursday citing numerous death threats they had received.
Blake and AIG’s attorney Ross Garber of Shipman and Goodwin repeatedly told the committee he was unable to answer several questions regarding the company’s finances or the specifics about financial instruments, such as credit default swaps. Instead Garber and Blake continued to offer up Patrick W. Shea, AIG’s outside legal counsel who drafted the opinion on why Connecticut law forced it to make these retention payments to employees.
March 25, 2009
by Christine Stuart | March 25, 2009 4:56pm
American International Group agreed to send one of its senior executives to the legislature’s Banks Committee hearing tomorrow afternoon even though he wasn’t one of the 14 executives it had subpoenaed.
The co-chairmen of the Banks Committee said Stephen Blake, head of human resources for the beleaguered AIG financial products division, will offer testimony regarding the company’s compensation and bonus payment structure.
According to Sen. Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, it’s still uncertain if he will testify under oath.
Blake’s testimony was part of compromise reached by the Banks Committee co-chairmen and AIG’s legal counsel. Rep. Ryan Barry, D-Manchester, said the committee reserves the right to enforce the subpoenas on the 14 other AIG executives at any time.
March 24, 2009
by Christine Stuart | March 24, 2009 6:56pm
(Updated 8:53 p.m.) Less than 72 hours from now American International Group executives are expected to appear before the legislature’s Banks Committee, but based on discussions thus far it’s still unclear whether they’re going to be in attendance Thursday at 1 p.m.
Banks Committee Co-Chairmen Rep. Ryan Barry, D-Manchester, and Sen. Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, said Tuesday that they’ve gone out of their way to accommodate the AIG employees whose names they gleaned through newspaper reports.
Tuesday afternoon the co-chairmen outlined what they would consider compliance with the 14 subpoenas they served late last week. The subpoenas for all of the AIG employees were accepted by AIG’s local counsel, Ross Garber of Shipman and Goodwin, according to Barry.
March 20, 2009
by Christine Stuart | March 20, 2009 8:53pm
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and the co-chairmen of the legislature’s Banks Committee issued subpoenas Friday afternoon to a dozen American International Group executives, including CEO Edward Liddy, asking them to come testify at the state Capitol next week.
Blumenthal, along with Rep. Ryan Barry, D-Manchester, and Sen. Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, said the insurance company whose financial products division is headquartered in Wilton, Conn. is potentially misusing the state’s laws in order to justify paying out $165 million in taxpayer funded bonuses.
Blumenthal said his office is prepared to enforce the legislative subpoenas if the dozen AIG executives, who all reside in Connecticut, refuse to come and testify Thursday, March 26.
June 25, 2008
by Paul Bass | June 25, 2008 5:11pm
That $1,500 Uncle Sam sent you? It went straight into your gas tank.
That was the message delivered Wednesday at Union Station by members of ConnPIRG (Connecticut Public Interest Research Group).
The organization unveiled a new study showing that since the economic stimulus law went into effect Feb. 13—sending families an average of $1,500 in federal tax rebates—the average American household has spent that entire sum on ever-more costly gasoline. Since February, the group reported, the average household;‘s weekly gas bill has climbed from $60 to almost $100.
Click here to continue reading Paul’s report.
June 24, 2008
by Christine Stuart | June 24, 2008 11:09pm
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal called on Charter Communications, an Internet Service Provider and Cable company, to suspend “its potentially illegal practice of tracking and sharing its customers’ Internet activities with third-party advertisers.”
Charter Communications has called it’s new pilot program an enhancement. But Newtown resident Matt Perrillo, said if he wants to opt out he has to disclose personal information. To add insult to injury, he can only opt out of receiving the advertisements. He said he can’t opt out of the company tracking where he goes on the Internet.
Blumenthal said Charter Communications’ opt-out provision is seriously inadequate to protect consumers because the opt-out cookie can be easily inadvertently deleted by the customer.
Click here to watch video of Blumenthal explaining the issue at a press conference Tuesday or keep reading to see what Charter Communications had to say.
April 14, 2008
by Christine Stuart | April 14, 2008 4:40pm
The General Administration and Elections Committee killed a bill Monday that would exempt private contractors from disclosing information under the state’s Freedom of Information laws.
Instead of addressing the bill the committee neglected to bring it up for a vote, which effectively killed the bill.
Rep. Chris Caruso, D-Bridgeport, co-chairman of the GAE committee, said there was a lot of pressure put on committee members regarding their vote on this bill. Not to mention, the bill goes “totally against the Freedom of Information Act,” he said.
April 11, 2008
by Ken Krayeske | April 11, 2008 11:49am
First, the good news: The Hartford has promised it won’t knock down 40,000 square feet of 1926 Georgian Revival office building formerly owned by MassMutual in Asylum Hill, nor will it create any more surface parking at the site, according to Josh King, a PR flack for The Hartford.
King swore to these edicts at the monthly meeting of the Asylum Hill Problem Solving Revitalization Association (aka the NRZ) Monday night April 7, 2008 at the Asylum Hill Congregational Church.
To refresh the NRZ’s collective memory, King explained that in December, The Hartford negotiated an option to purchase the historically significant property. At the same time, it applied for a 90-day waiting period for a permit to demolish 600,000 square feet worth of office edifice on the 16-acre campus.
March 17, 2008
by Patricia Dillon | March 17, 2008 10:33am
On March 10, Spitzer publicly acknowledged wrongdoing. Less noticed that same day, shares of Bear Stearns, a financial institution with major exposure to sub-prime mortgages, began a week long decline in share price.
By this weekend, the Federal Reserve brokered a bailout at a shocking $2 a share to preserve the stability of markets. In two days alone, $4.5 billion in equity had vaporized.
Because of the effect on the stock market, the short-term implications for Connecticut’s budget will likely be losses in our pension fund investments.
July 11, 2007
by Paul Bass | July 11, 2007 5:21pm
In sparing one of the New Haven Savings/NewAlliance bank scammers a jail term, federal Judge Janet Arterton (pictured) said she was sending two messages to purveyors of financial fraud.
Message One: If you cooperate immediately with authorities, pay fines without negotiating, send others to jail, and show real remorse, you can stay out of jail.
Message Two: People now do go to jail if they sneak their way into bank-conversion stock buys to which they’re not legally entitled.
Click here to continue reading Paul’s report.