Five AIG executives don't care that the government had to bail their company out because they were utterly inept. They want their full 'compensation' or they'll quit.

Which raises the question: what the would these Marie Antoinettes have to do before they stopped seeing hundreds of millions as a baseline salary? They're hardly starving; they're currently limited to $500,000 — or about $1400 a day — by the terms of the bailout.

To put that in perspective surgeons earn about $330,000 at the top end, according to the American College of Surgeons. And that was a survey from the boom days of 2006. The highest paid nurses in that year got about $60,000. Does William Dooley, the head of AIG's financial services division, the same division that drove the company to catastrophe, and who is among those the Wall Street Journal report is threatening to quit, provide more good to society? (That was a rhetorical question. The answer is no.)

Anyway, two of the executives, heroes both, have changed their minds over the weekend and decided to soldier on with mere hundreds of thousands of dollars and some risk of losing a lucrative severance. That leaves three whom we invite to send in their rationales for demanding more money.

AIG is not alone; last week Bank of America announced that it would pay back $45bn bailout money, primarily so it could lavish silks and ivory on a new chief executive.