AIG Considers Joining Lawsuit Against U.S. Over Bailouts
Just my opinion, but if there were a jail for ingrates, then former AIG Chief Executive Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, who is leading this lawsuit, would belong in it. They should instead just be happy that they were not prosecuted or sued themselves by all the people who lost a third or more of their personal wealth.
In an ongoing national advertising campaign, the company has been thanking taxpayers for the government bailout in the fall of 2008 when the New York firm, with deep roots in the worldwide banking and financial system, teetered on the verge of bankruptcy.
If there were a jail for ingrates, then former AIG Chief Executive Maurice “Hank” Greenberg would belong in it.AIG ended up taking about $125 billion of the pledged money in the complex, multi-step rescue by the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It recently repaid all the funds, plus interest and dividends, and launched its ad campaign.
Still, the company was the most reviled of bailouts not only for being the single largest rescue but also for paying hefty bonuses to the employees whose bad bets on the subprime housing market would have toppled the company had taxpayers not stepped in.
News that AIG was considering suing the government for that rescue led many Tuesday to respond with a single word: chutzpah.
“This is like suing the paramedic who just gave you CPR because he didn’t give you a pillow,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).
“Definition of chutzpah,” tweeted former Obama campaign senior strategist David Axelrod.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who gained fame heading the government’s oversight panel for the $700-billion bailout fund, said: “AIG’s reckless bets nearly crashed our entire economy,” and it would be “outrageous” for the company to join the suit.
“AIG should thank American taxpayers for their help, not bite the hand that fed them for helping them out in a crisis,” she said.
At Wednesday’s board meeting, AIG directors are expected to hear presentations about the suit, which was filed by Starr International Co., the firm headed by former AIG Chief Executive Maurice “Hank” Greenberg.