As insurance companies ask taxpayers to help them out with bad mortgage bets, American International Group (AIG), who received a $85 billion loan bailout yesterday, still continue the posh life. (Jealous!) Take, for example, the trip they have planned next week, which happens to be down in Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, "an elite golf and spa resort" south of San Francisco. According to David Lazarus at the LA Times:

[A] spokesman for American International Group said the company was going ahead with plans to host a three-day confab for about 150 insurance brokers at the Ritz-Carlton Resort in Half Moon Bay next week. About 50 AIG employees also will attend.

"This is an annual affair," said AIG's Joe Norton. "It's a key meeting."

Such five-star shindigs have long been a standard practice for the U.S. financial industry. They serve as incentives and rewards for top performers, and as regular get-togethers for senior execs.

The meeting, which will "introduce new insurance products to salespeople who specialize in wealthy clients," starts early next week. If any of you want to greet AIG folk, here's a map telling you how to get there.

Update: Trip canceled. Drats.