AIG May Sue Government For Bailing It Out

From a New York Times blog

The board of A.I.G. will meet on Wednesday to consider joining a $25 billion shareholder lawsuit against the government, court records show. The lawsuit does not argue that government help was not needed. 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.”

It goes on to say that doing so would “almost certainly be widely seen as an audacious display of ingratitude.” Yes, that about sums it up.

As a Federal Reserve spokesman explains in the article, the property wasn’t taken, it was given to save: “A.I.G.’s board of directors had an alternative choice to borrowing from the Federal Reserve, and that choice was bankruptcy.”

As for just compensation, apparently AIG isn’t sure surviving was good enough. No, maybe taxpayers should be expected to drag them out of the fire and then pay them handsomely for the affront of helping them, too.

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