Four top AIG executives flipped U.S. taxpayers the bird by spending $86,000 on a partridge hunt at an English country manor as the feds gave their struggling firm billions to stay afloat.
The heedless hunters and their guests traipsed through the fields in tweed knickers, firing at defenseless birds and later washing down pigeon breasts and halibut with “the finest wines taxpayers’ money can buy,” the London-based News of the World newspaper reported. There were at least three New Yorkers in the group - Jeffrey Malkovsky, a senior director at AIG’s Manhattan office, Hilary James, the general manager of the luxurious Bristol Plaza Hotel, and her pal, John Roberts, who also advises AIG, sources said.
In interviews with undercover reporters, the AIG honchos said they were aware that the markets were crashing back in New York - but were more interested in bagging birds.
“The recession will go on until about 2011 - but the shooting was great today and we are relaxing fine,” AIG honcho Sebastian Preil was quoted as saying. Preil wasn’t the least bit embarrassed that AIG, which got its first $85 billion bailout from the feds last month, needed taxpayer money to stay in business. The hunting trip came the week AIG got a second loan of $37.5 billion. “We should be on an even keel in two years,” he reportedly said.
Another AIG executive, Alvaro Mengotti, “slurped fine wine” while dispensing advice on surviving the financial crisis. “Invest your money in gold,” he reportedly said.