445_burning_money.thumbnail.jpgAIG’s luxury retreat for 200 executives and independent sales people to be held at the Ritz-Carlton in California’s Half Moon Bay is being scrapped "after a re-evaluation of the costs under the new circumstances," said spokesman Joe Norton, quoted on Bloombergnews.com Norton said today he didn’t yet know if AIG would cancel plans for other events.

The Ritz Carleton’s amenities include 300 thread count sheets, feather beds, and $125 chocolate fudge pedicures. Rooms are $400 a night.

AIG spokesman Nicholas Ashooh said yesterday that next week’s event was aimed to "motivate and educate" about 150 independent agents who sell AIG coverage to high-end clients. Fifty AIG executives were to attend as well.

The insurer hosts similar events "around the world all the time," he said, as a way to reward self-employed agents. AIG received an $85 billion loan from the U.S. government last month and in exchange ceded a 79.9 percent ownership interest, then borrowed another $37.8 billion from the Federal Reserve on Tuesday to "replenish liquidity." 

The$85 billion dollar loan was made days before the company sent 70 executives on spa-tactular vacation at the St. Regis Monarch Bay in California.

Representative Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat  had this to say:

I cannot fathom how in the same day — the very same day that AIG asked the government for another $37.8 billion loan, the company would even consider moving forward with plans to host another large conference at another luxury resort. 

Rep Cummings was among a host of elected officials including Rep. Henry Waxman and Sen. Barack Obama who criticized last month’s AIG’s $440,000 orgy of gluttony at the St. Regis  which included $23,000 in spa treatments.  "The Treasury should demand that money back and those executives should be fired," said Obama during Tuesday night’s presidential debates.

Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.