Life can be confusing at times. American International Group, or better known as AIG, has been running a grateful sixty-second television ad spot, which thanks the American people for the TARP funding totaling $122.3 billion dollars from the American taxpayers, that ultimately saved AIG from total extinction. The AIG ad is titled, “Thank you America.”
During the ad, the AIG actors repeatedly says "thank you" America for its help in saving the company. The ad even mentions that the American taxpayer netted a "$22 billion dollar profit" from the transaction and for that AIG once again says "thank you."
The ad is touching.
The New York Times Dealbook blog is reporting today that AIG is considering joining an existing lawsuit that accuses the U.S. government of too-onerous terms in its 2008-2009 rescue package. The lawsuit is over the "$22 billion dollar profit" in which they thanked the American taxpayers. Thus the irony of the title of the AIG ad, "Thank you America."
AIG wants its money back!
And the board is at least considering this action. The directors of AIG will hear arguments at its board meeting on Wednesday both for and against joining the $25 billion suit, reported the New York Times Dealbook blog.
This 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 an active lawsuit pending in a federal claims court in Washington, D.C. The U.S. government will present the arguments against joining the lawsuit.
Starr International is represented by famed attorney David Boies (from the landmark Gore v Bush election case), contends that the bailout plan extracted a “punitive” interest rate of more than 14 percent.
There may well be a valid legal argument here on the part of Starr International. But for AIG to join the lawsuit when be a terrible display. As Rachel Maddow pointed out, "had it not been for the bailout AIG now sees as overly onerous, there wouldn't be an AIG to file a lawsuit at all."
The word is "ungrateful."
When TARP money was offered, AIG could have simply said, "No thank you."
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books