Regardless of your views regarding the wisdom of the government’s bailout of AIG in 2008, it’s hard not to be incensed about the lawsuit filed its former CEO Maurice Greenberg.
Greenberg currently owns 12% of AIG’s stock. That’s a huge amount and much of it was most likely accumulated as a result of a bloated pay package while AIG’s CEO. He and his sons have controlled a major portion of the insurance industry: a family that’s probably the 1% of the 1%!
American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a multinational insurance corporation and the world’s largest insurance and financial services corporation in 2006. It’s also a provider of life insurance and retirement services for companies, institutions and individuals (affecting the retirements of a whole bunch of you’s and me’s).
In the fall of 2008, AIG was in crisis and on the verge of filing for bankruptcy protection due to imminent insolvency as a result of risky bets on mortgage-related investments. While CEO at AIG, Greenberg himself surely was involved in decisions that contributed to its dire condition in 2008.
There weren’t any private investors willing to save the company. So the U.S. government came to the rescue as AIG was considered “too big to fail” – that is, its bankruptcy would have had a devastating ripple effect that could push the country into a catastrophic depression.
In 2008 and 2009, the United States extended financial support to AIG that totaled as much as $182.5 billion. Today, the company is in robust health and the United States has reported a positive return of $22.7 billion on the bailout.
In his lawsuit against the government seeking $25 billion in damages, Greenberg whines that the 14% interest rate on the government loan was “punitive.”
Complaining about a 14% interest rate – now that’s something that only a super-wealthy investor with an “entitlement” mentality would have the audacity to do. Compare that to the astronomical interest rates charged by payday loan companies.
Keep in mind that Greenberg is asking you and me, as taxpayers, to pay the $25 billion in damages that he seeks in his misguided lawsuit against the US (that stands for “us” taxpayers, not the wealthy individuals and corporations that pay low if any taxes due to tax loopholes enjoyed by corporations (aka Corporate Welfare).
Wealthy entitlement at its worst!