gh wrote:<<JANUARY 8, 2013 A LETTER FROM A.I.G. POSTED BY ANDY BOROWITZ
NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report) – Today, American International Group (A.I.G.) issued the following letter to American taxpayers.
Dear American Taxpayers:
In 2008, you paid for a bailout of A.I.G. totalling $182 billion. Today, we are writing to tell you that we’re thinking of suing you.
When we made this decision, we knew we were in for some rough treatment from the media. We’ve been called everything from soulless bloodsuckers to Satan’s scabrous handmaidens, and worse. At A.I.G., though, we have a different name for ourselves: true American heroes....>>
Indeed. I believe I've seen several times in the past couple of weeks an AIG commercial on the teevee, wherein the narrator/spokesperson recounts AIG's awesome record in recent years, all punctuated by a series of people saying, "Thank you, America" or something like that. But perhaps I wasn't watching closely enough...perhaps they were saying, "F**k you, America." Oh well, it's just another instance in which I am, somehow, at once (a) not surprised at all, and (b) appalled.
After the U.S. government took a majority ownership in AIG, everyone expected it to stay that way, possibly forever. But in August, the company paid back the money it received from the Federal Reserve. And while we are sitting in Benmosche’s villa in Croatia, the Treasury is making plans to sell off the majority of its stake, reducing it to 16 percent. By next year, the government estimates it will have earned a $20 billion profit on its “investment” and will be entirely rid of its AIG problem. Or, as Benmosche might put it, AIG will be rid of its government problem. The entire reason I’ve been invited to Croatia for four days is to hear about how this free lunch did work.
“But it wasn’t a free lunch,” Benmosche insists. It’s a point of view that I am apparently not the first to fail to appreciate. “Everybody said it’s just not going to happen, they’ll never pay it off,” he goes on. “SIGTARP, Elizabeth Warren, Gretchen Whatshername in the New York Times. The fact is we now have succeeded in getting the Fed back all of their money, and we’re just close to getting the Treasury paid back. And do you know,” he adds, an indignant note creeping into his voice, “neither of them have ever said ‘Thank you’? We have done all the right things. Somebody should say, ‘By golly, those AIG people made a promise and they are living up to a promise!’