My Take on AIG’s Proposed Lawsuit

Back around 2008, if memory serves, the federal government (aka “we the people”) loaned $182 billion to AIG (American International Group).

This was part of a wholesale bailout of big banks and other private institutions, whose insane risks — which they took with our money — plunged the world into deep recession and almost over the brink of financial collapse. Millions lost their savings, their homes, their jobs, their health insurance, sometimes even their lives. We’re still barely starting to recover.

Yet we bailed out the miscreants who did this to us, because their companies were deemed “to big to fail”. Angry as we all were, our leaders figured the alternative was worse. Maybe they were right.

Be that as it may, we saved AIG (among others) from bankruptcy and sent its stock soaring (52 percent last year alone). Now, to the surprise of many, “we the people” (aka the federal government) have made a “profit” of $22 billion by the time the AIG loan was repaid.

I say “profit” in quotation marks because this doesn’t take into account the wiped-out retirement accounts, the homes and jobs and lives lost, and other debits totaling trillions of dollars. But on paper, at least, $22 billion seems a nice chunk of change.

Until we notice that that amount constitutes just 12 percent over four years, or three percent return per year. Wonder if you or I could borrow money that cheaply from our bank? Wonder if AIG would loan us money at so low a rate?

Be that as it may, AIG this week threatened to sue America on the ground that we charged too much money for the loan that saved their corporate bacon. Public outcry was deafening, and I just learned, minutes ago, that AIG has now backed down.

But while the suit was still pending, I put up a video at my other blog, The Astonished Tamale! Please check it out here. It tells the story of AIG’s attitude of gratitude.

In essence, the video shows how, by rearranging the letters of “American International Group”, one comes up with a variety of alternate spellings that seem, well, appropriate: “un-American rat, reptilian goon”; “alarming, uncertain operation”; “a repugnant, irrational income”.

There are plenty more. The nifty thing about the video is that it shows the letters of the company name actually rearranging themselves into these apt descriptions.

It would almost be funny if it weren’t so sad. Please check it out. Leave a comment on The Astonished Tamale! (And please share the video with your friends. Thanks!


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