Quick Picks focuses on a select few of the day's stories from "Breaking on the Web."
- Taxpayers balked in November when AIG -- the recipient of an ever-expanding $150 billion credit line from the U.S. government -- reported that it was doling out $469 million in "retention" bonuses to thousands of its employees. Now, Bloomberg reports that AIG is actually giving more than that -- $150 million more. According to the firm, the bonuses are necessary to hang on to its staff, but Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said AIG is overpaying and accused the firm of being less than forthright about the pay. An AIG spokesperson told Bloomberg, "Ed Liddy [AIG's CEO] clarified various details about those plans in answer to Congressman Cummings's questions."
- Between 2003 and 2007, a top surgeon and researcher reported on University of Wisconsin disclosure forms that he had received $20,000 or more from a medical device maker, except for one year, when he reported earning $40,000 or more. How much more? Oh, about $19 million in total, reports today's Wall Street Journal. The school's disclosure forms, mandated by federal law, don't require doctors to specify any industry pay over $20,000, which Sen. Charles Grassley said does "not go far enough to fully capture a physician's potential conflict of interest." The surprisingly amenable university responded that its disclosure requirements were insufficient and "indefensible" and pledged to change them.
Check out more of our roundup of the best investigative stories around the Web.