One of the biggest recipients of the taxpayer bailouts given after the 2008 crash of the stock market is preparing to sue the very same government that awarded all the money received.
AIG is one of the companies America decided was “too big to fail” after the economic collapse that occured right as President George Bush Jr. was leaving office. It eventually became public policy (at the expense of the American taxpayers) to “bailout” AIG and other very large companies who were largely responsible for the dire economic situation America was in at the time. So when the bond amount was determined to set AIG free from its self-inflicted financial incarceration, the government paid up. The tune of the bill: $182 billion.
Well now the large debt has become yesterday’s news as AIG eventually paid back the vast IOU it took out from the government. So what’s new news? AIG is asking the government for more billions. Except for this time, it is in the form of a lawsuit totally $25 billion. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.
AIG’s executive board will be meeting tomorrow to decide whether or not to take part in the lawsuit, which is being headed up by AIG’s former CEO Maurice Greenberg. Greenberg claims major shareholders were cheated by the government in the bailout process.
In a statement published by the New York Times, Greenberg said:
“The government has been saying, ‘We’re your friend, we owned and controlled you and we let you go.’ But A.I.G. doesn’t owe loyalty to the government. It owes loyalty to its shareholders.” (New York Times)
Mr. Greenberg’s audacity can be rebutted with this simple piece of advice. Him and his AIG bedfellows can complain about the government’s position all they want. If they spare no expense for the majority of taxpayers who bailed them out, they deserve no sympathy from a jury in civil court. Didn’t they learn in their cut-throat business world on Wall Street that you keep your friends close and enemies closer?