I have to laugh when I hear things like this, from everyone's favorite reverse-Howard Beale, CNBC's Rick Santelli:
"If there were contracts in place that when the government came in to put the money in AIG, they didn't take care of these issues -- a card played is a card played, as reprehensible as it is."Huh?
This guy must not do much civil litigation.
Or work for a union, which had to have their contracts abrogated and modified as a condition for receiving automaker bailout funds. But that was so long ago!
Still, for those of you who live in the real world and are curious about the various legal strategies that could be employed to force these bonuses to be returned, the New York Times asked six legal experts for their opinion here.
No surprises, as the doctrines range from rescission, reformation, modification, unconscionability, frustration of purpose, changed circumstances, etc.
In other words, you are correct, Mr. Santelli -- their hands are completely tied!