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Why AIG Stumbled, And Taxpayers Now Own It

A 60 minutes report on the AIG debacle, from CBS;

Why AIG Stumbled, And Taxpayers Now Own It

Of all the corporate bailouts that have taken place over the past year, none has proved more costly or contentious than the rescue of American International Group (AIG). Its reckless bets on subprime mortgages threatened to bring down Wall Street and the world economy last fall until the U.S Treasury and the Federal Reserve stepped in to save it.

So far, the huge insurance and financial services conglomerate has been given or promised $180 billion in loans, investments, financial injections and guarantees – a sum greater than the annual cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In return the U.S. taxpayers have been given a 79 percent equity stake in the company. We are now AIG’s largest shareholder. We have 116,000 loyal employees who had nothing to do with this mess, some valuable insurance assets, and a new CEO, Edward Liddy, who says his only mission is to get our money back.

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