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10 Dumbest Things on Wall Street in 2008

DUMBEST OF 2008 #3 (TIE)

AIG's Hunting Party

By Gregg Greenberg, 10/17/08

American International Group (AIG) went on the government's dole for $123 billion, but that doesn't mean its executives can't have a jolly old time.

A handful of top executives from AIG allegedly racked up an $86,000 tab during an October English hunting trip, even as the New York-based insurer was lobbying for an additional $37.8 billion from the Federal Reserve.

AIG spokesman Peter Tulupman at the time that the event had been planned "months before" the Fed's loan to AIG, adding, "We regret that this event was not canceled."

Perhaps sincere regret carries a little less weight in these extraordinary times. What taxpayer wasn't overjoyed with learning that he or she helped sponsor another boondoggle, this one at a $440,000 price tag, for top AIG insurance agents at a posh California resort in September -- just days after the U.S. government stepped in to save AIG with $85 billion?

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino called that event "despicable."

This latest one, however, we'll call just plain stupid.

Update 12/26: On Nov. 10, just a few days before requesting an additional $40 billion from the Federal government, ABCNews reported that the insurer spent $343,000 on a conference at a lavish resort in Phoenix, Arizona . Later that month, they got their money from the Treasury. Party on, Garth!

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