Piggy AIG may sue US over $182bn bailout that saved them

UPDATE: Someone just informed that AIG has the nerve to be wasting money on TV ads at the moment “thanking America” for bailout it tout to the tune of nearly $200bn.  How is AIG thanking America?  With a possible lawsuit.
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As if we needed another example of how poorly executed the bailout was. AIG reportedly recognizes that they needed the $182 billion taxpayer bailout, but they’re now complaining that the terms of the bailout were too harsh for shareholders. To thank the American taxpayer for their sacrifice, AIG’s board is reviewing the possibility of filing a lawsuit for $25 billion against the US government, aka against YOU, the taxpayers, who got no bailout at all, but paid for theirs.

Somehow the Wall Street players that destroyed the economy still don’t get why Americans hate them so much. I wonder what the impact would have been for shareholders if the US taxpayers let AIG completely fold?

First, here’s the latest outrage from AIG, then let’s talk a walk through recent history to get the full flavor of just how awful this company really is.

Thanks for nothing, jerks.

Fresh from paying back a $182 billion bailout, the American International Group has been running a nationwide advertising campaign with the tagline “Thank you America.”

AIG logoBehind the scenes, the restored insurance company is weighing whether to tell the government agencies that rescued it during the financial crisis: thanks, but you cheated our shareholders.

The board of A.I.G. will meet on Wednesday to consider joining a $25 billion shareholder lawsuit against the government, court records show. The lawsuit does not argue that government help was not needed. It contends that the onerous nature of the rescue — the taking of what became a 92 percent stake in the company, the deal’s high interest rates and the funneling of billions to the insurer’s Wall Street clients — deprived shareholders of tens of billions of dollars and violated the Fifth Amendment, which prohibits the taking of private property for “public use, without just compensation.”

Remember the time AIG’s CEO said that the retirement age would have to move up to 70, even 80 years of age?

Or the time, AFTER we already bailed AIG out to the tune of nearly $200 billion dollars, AIG paid $450M in bonuses to retain 400 people who lost $34 billion?

And then AIG’s spoiled rotten employees got all snippy and threatened to leave the company if we kept complaining about their obscene bonuses.  As if anyone would want to hire the guys who sunk AIG in the first place.  Good luck with that.

Or the other time a former AIG head sued the government because he didn’t like the way the bailout went – the one that saved his company’s behind?

Mitt Romney and Bill O’Reilly were right.  There is a class of people in America who simply “want things”: the “AIG class.”


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • Ninong

    I can’t stand A.I.G. I think they’re a despicable bunch of rotten, corrupt, immoral criminals who screwed the American taxpayers! Saving them was not something the government did for their benefit, it was something that had to be done to save our financial system. As it turned out, A.I.G. has paid back all of the taxpayers’ money, plus a hefty bunch of interest!
    However, this was a case of a non-story being blown up by the media, including the mainstream media! If A.I.G. wanted to join the lawsuit, they could have done so before it was filed or even after it was filed but before it was thrown out by the federal court in New York.
    A.I.G.’s board met because they were asked to do so by a federal judge in Washington, DC. They listened to both sides because that is their responsibility as directors. They rejected Greenberg’s demand unanimously. They didn’t meet because they wanted to join the lawsuit. They met because the judge made them do it. The media got all hysterical over nothing and all of their headlines were irresponsible and misleading.

  • tsuki

    These are the Welfare Queens driving in Limousines.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Point of reference: $25 billion is FIVE TIMES the proposed savings to the federal government if they raise the Medicare eligibility age by two years — and two and a half times the increased cost that such a move would shift to seniors, insured younger folks, employers, and state governments.

    Seems clear enough that AIG should have been allowed to go bankrupt. Heck, was accepting a taxpayer bailout anything but 100% voluntary on AIG’s part?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000111133695 Lisa Johnson

    Without being too crude: Greedy, f*cking bastards. How dare they?

  • Hue-Man

    The bailouts for AIG, the banks, and the auto industry have been fraudulently portrayed in the media as the federal government “made money” from their investments. This is impossible – what rate of return would have a non-government investor have demanded when the sky was falling? Since there was no one willing to step in to save AIG, the banks, or the auto industry, the rate was something more than 1 trillion per cent per day! Without the government give-away, these were Fawlty Towers dead companies – like Lehman Bros. – in which no one in the world wanted to contribute a single nickel.

    It also helps if you remember the first rule of banking: “we only lend money to people who don’t need to borrow.” Government rescue packages have little to do with investing.

  • Ninong

    A.I.G.’s board is not “reviewing the possibility of filing a lawsuit.” That’s a misleading representation of what’s actually going on. The lawsuit in question was filed in 2011 by A.I.G.’s former dictator for four decades, Mo Greenberg — the guy who set A.I.G. on its ruinous path. Greenberg is an idiot!

    He filed suit in New York and Washington, DC. A federal judge in Manhattan dismissed the case in November. In an 89-page opinion, Judge Paul A. Engelmayer wrote that while Starr’s (Greenberg’s company) complaint “paints a portrait of government treachery worthy of an Oliver Stone movie,” the company “voluntarily accepted the hard terms offered by the one and only rescuer that stood between it and imminent bankruptcy.”

    The judge in the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington, has declined to dismiss the case because he wants A.I.G. to respond to Greenberg’s demand that they join the suit against the government. The judge is forcing A.I.G.’s board to meet for a couple of days to hear presentations from both sides, Greenberg and the government.

    This whole thing is ridiculous beyond belief! Greenberg claims that he and other A.I.G. shareholders were harmed because the value of their shares was diluted by the government’s harsh terms. Their shares would have been next to worthless if A.I.G. had chosen the alternative: BANKRUPTCY!

  • nicho

    Gee, I wonder how the corporate-sponsored judges will rule.

  • eahopp

    What are the futures rate for tar, feathers, and guillotines?

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