That's a lovely commercial isn't it? After accepting bailout money from American taxpayers, AIG rebounded strongly, and, as noted in the ad, was even able to pay back a profit on that money.
Now, AIG has another message for America: Eff you.
The insurance giant is considering joining a lawsuit, suing America and alleging terms of the bailout were unfair. Hank Greenberg, former chief executive of AIG, is leading the charge against America, stating that the NY Fed were more like a loan shark because the interest rates on the loan were so high. His initial case was dismissed in November, but he, and now, apparently, AIG, is looking for other legal means in which to sue the country.
The main problem with the lawsuit is that AIG had other options. They could have gone into bankruptcy, leaving all of Mr. Greeberg's stock completely worthless, and proceeded from there. Ford memorably denied bailout money. They all knew the terms of the deal up front. This isn't some kind of bait-and-switch.
Needless to say, experts and lawmakers were astounded at the possibility of the suit. "If AIG enters this suit it would be the equivalent of a patient suing a doctor for saving their life," said Mark Williams, a Boston University professor and former Federal Reserve bank examiner.
A column from Policito, "Washington's jaws drop at possibility of AIG lawsuit" has several other quotes, including this from Senator Elizabeth Warren.
“AIG should thank American taxpayers for their help, not bite the hand that fed them for helping them out in a crisis,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said in a statement. “Taxpayers across this country saved AIG from ruin, and it would be outrageous for this company to turn around and sue the federal government because they think the deal wasn’t generous enough. Even today, the government provides an ongoing, stealth bailout, propping up AIG with special tax breaks — tax breaks that Congress should stop.”
It is unfathomable that AIG will go through with this suit, which is probably how/why the information about this meeting leaked (how many board meetings of major companies -- or any companies, for that matter -- have you ever known about in advance?). One person did come to the defense of AIG, however. Andy Borowitz writes for The New Yorker that AIG is simply defending Americas right to sue whoever they want. And nothing is more American that that.