As discussions heated up over whether to give Washington broad authority to regulate insurers posing systemic risks to the economy, the controversy cooled somewhat last week over retention bonuses paid to players at American International Group’s Financial Products unit, after at least $50 million of the $165 million distributed was returned by U.S. citizens, and foreign employees gave back money as well.

The bonuses were repaid following intense pressure by angry politicians spurred on by an irate public and media scoldings.

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