This story is simply unbelievable. Shareholders of AIG should have been wiped out in 2008 in a bankruptcy or liquidation after it lost tens of billions of dollars making bad bets on insuring mortgage securities. Instead, AIG management and shareholders were bailed out by taxpayers.
It is bad enough I have to endure those awful commercials with AIG employees "thanking" me for their bailout. It's like the thief who stole my TV sending me occasional emails telling me how much he is enjoying it.
Now, AIG managers and owners are considering suing the government because the the amazing special only-good-for-a-powerful-and-connected-company deal they got was not good enough.
Directors at American International Group Inc., AIG -1.28% the recipient of one of the biggest government bailout packages during the financial crisis, are considering whether to join a lawsuit that accuses the U.S. government of too-onerous terms in the 2008-2009 rescue package.
The directors will hear arguments on Wednesday both for and against joining the $25 billion suit, a person briefed on the matter said. The suit was filed in 2011 on behalf of Starr International Co., a once very large AIG shareholder that is led by former AIG Chief Executive Maurice "Hank" Greenberg. It is pending in a federal claims court in Washington, D.C....
Starr sued the government in 2011, saying its taking of a roughly 80% AIG stake and extending tens of billions of dollars in credit with an onerous initial interest rate of roughly 15% deprived shareholders of their due process and equal protection rights.
This is especially hilarious since it coincides with those miserable commercials celebrating how AIG has successfully paid off all these supposedly too-onerous obligations. And certainly Starr and other AIG investors were perfectly free not to take cash from the government in 2008 and line up some other private source of financing. Oh, you mean no one else wanted to voluntarily put money into AIG in 2008? No kidding.
Postscript: By the way, employees of AIG, you have not paid off all the costs of your bailout and you never will. The single largest cost is the contribution to moral hazard, the precedent that insurance companies, if sufficiently large and well-connected in Washington, can reap profits on their bets when they go the right way, and turn to the taxpayer to cover the bets when they go wrong.