Today: AIG considering (Passes) suing US government for bailing out AIG

Final update, just in: Maybe the spectre of public shame in the midst of a PR campaign trying to sell us on what a great corporate citizen AIG really is made a difference, the board has declined to pursue a lawsuit against the US government bailout that saved them. Even the Wall Street journal had a hard time believing they would.

Update 1/9/2013 10 PM Central: I’ve already seen some anecdotal evidence that a faction of the dumbest mushroom conservatives are drawn inexorably to defend AIG — when informed of the basic facts they know intellectually it’s a bad idea to take AIG’s side, but they just can’t  seem help themselves, they keep getting pulled back to insanity, as long as the government is being sued and it involves the word bailout. If the AIG board is dumb enough to decide to try and sue us today, my spidey sense is screaming this could blow up into a great wedge issue.

Hell hath no fury like a company that is too big to fail and American International Group, the largest insurance company in the world, is proving it by considering a suit against We the People for saving their worthless ass. Let’s be clear: AIG wasn’t merely a victim of the 2008 meltdown, its financial products division was the primary architect of the derivatives and virtual exchange that caused the collapse. After destroying the world economy and throwing millions of lives into chaos, the board is now considering a $25 billion suit against the US government that saved it:

Atlantic — It’s not so much that AIG’s mad the government bailed them out. (They wouldn’t be around to be mad if it hadn’t.) They just wish they’d done it a little bit differently.

“The lawsuit does not argue that government help was not needed,” The New York Times reports. “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.'” Does that kind of bad attitude count as “looking the gift horse in the mouth” or “biting the hand that feeds you?” Or both?

It counts as one of the worst PR moves since New Coke. AIG just started running commercials thanking us for the bailout and acting halfway human, now this. It’s a hopeless lawsuit and a terrible PR move, so piss poor it’s utterly incomprehensible. Really, it’s difficult to imagine what kind of greedy social retards would think that up or how the most sycophantic yesmen could go along, but for crying out loud, fire them all, publicly and immediately you fucking ignoramuses, fire them without pay or benefits or golden parachutes starting with the giant prick of a CEO Robert Benmosche.


  1. StevoR, fallible human being says

    For a second there I thought you were talking about (wrong) “Answers In Genesis” there!

  2. machintelligence says

    I agree.
    Hell, buy the other 8 % of the company (effectively nationalizing it) and fire these assholes*. If you are going to be called a socialist, may as well act like one. The old “better to be hanged for a goat than a sheep” comes to mind.

    *And let them try to sue the government for their golden parachutes.

  3. says

    The French revolutionaries had the right idea what it comes to bastards like these.
    Their method encouraged useful hobbies, like knitting, and—hey free heads to roll around!!

  4. anubisprime says

    Like all the banks they have learnt nothing over the debacle of global financial collapse, which they orchestrated through ignorance and rank greed.

    It must be a disease, associated with lots of cash, that eradicates sanity, taste and modesty!

  5. tubi says

    Why anyone would still be an AIG shareholder is also a question. Outside of turds like apparently the entire board and executive class, no one should have anything to do with AIG as an investment.

  6. says

    “taking of private property for ‘public use, without just compensation.’ ”

    What private property? They were bankrupt! They owed more than they owned. The stockholders should be grateful their stock isn’t now worthless.

  7. Zugswang says

    I would love to see the government invoke the same “tough shit” rule that AIG did with many of their clients that were deceived and misled. “You agreed to these terms, now GTFO.”

  8. timberwoof says

    If they didn’t like the terms of the contract, they should have rejected it. If they want to go back on the contract, they can pay back their bailout money … with interest and penalties.

    Hm. My house loan is not with AIG, else I should sue them for the onerous terms of the mortgage. I’m sure that in a gesture of generosity that would stand them in good stead in this lawsuit, they’d pay off my loan… 

    Yeah. Right.

  9. unbound says

    I think Didaktylos has the right idea, and I think it is the primary issue that needs to be understood when dealing with corporations (especially large corporations).

    What corporations do is make money. How they make that money is largely via the market they do their work in…but never confuse what they do with how they do it. The officers of the corporation have really only one duty…to make as much money as possible for the shareholders (the fact that they tend to be significant shareholders is another, but separate, big problem with modern corporations).

    Unless we legislatively change what corporations are, the officers of AIG are simply doing what they are supposed to do; just like a scorpion or tiger. If we want the corporations to behave differently, we have to change their nature first.

  10. says

    I don’t know a better way to punish them than if this blows up into a PR nightmare, which feels right and might have the added advantage of changing their nature a little bit. I think it could be a good wedge issue too. Most people want to retch when they hear about it, plays into many levels of the 2012 election to our benefit, but it remains to be seen if the board will go through with it, and if a small number of teapbaggers might be sucked into defending AIG.

    If those two things happen we’re probably seeing the birth of a major wedge issue that could dominate the media sphere for a day or two at least. One in which we’re 100% right and moral. AIG is dead wrong and immoral, complete with politicians forced to answer black and white questions and where the GOP could get fractured with a big hunk of the GOP rank and file seeing things our way.

  11. daved says

    There’s more to the story, if you dig into it. AIG didn’t initiate this lawsuit; the lawsuit was filed by a bunch of AIG shareholders, including the former CEO, who as I recall was ousted at around the time things hit the fan. They’re arguing that the government funneled a lot of AIG’s cash to Wall St firms that were on the other side of these credit default swaps that took down AIG in the first place.

    This, in turn, reduced the value of AIG, and thus harmed the shareholders. AIG is trying to decide whether to join in this lawsuit, partly because if they don’t, then shareholders could sue *them*, too. Anyway, follow the links from the posting here back to the NY Times story for more details. One Federal judge in NYC dismissed the case already, but the case was also filed in Washington, and the judge there allowed it to go forward, and of course the plaintiffs are appealing the dismissal in NY.

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