AIG May Join Suit Against Federal Government Over ‘Unfair’ Bailout Terms

January 8, 2013

  • January 8, 2013 at 8:44 am
    Jeremy P says:
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    Seriously? What about the term ‘bailout’ does Greenberg not understand? Without the ‘bailout’ from the US taxpayers AIG would not exist today so how can ANY terms be unfair?? Corporate greed continues to get further and further out of control, with no end in sight.

  • January 8, 2013 at 8:44 am
    SusieQinthe Midwest (In WI) says:
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    “The company confirmed a New York Times report that said AIG’s board would meet Wednesday to discuss joining a lawsuit filed against the government”

    The Government has no money….

  • January 8, 2013 at 8:49 am
    Laura says:
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    If the deal was so bad, they could have just rejected it and gone under…

    • January 8, 2013 at 11:18 am
      Agent says:
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      I believe they were the ones with their hat in their hands begging for a bailout. About the time they got into trouble, they were handing out big bonuses to the very same people that got them into trouble. There is very little sympathy for this organization with the insurance industry or the public.

      • January 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm
        s. h. "jay" green says:
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        Agent to agent you could not be more right!

  • January 8, 2013 at 9:00 am
    RF says:
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    What would be less fair, let them fail? How many people would have lost jobs? So the actions of the government did in fact “bail” AIG out and now AIG is saying that the terms were unfair? Seeing that AIG is still doing business, not so sure the terms were all that unfair!

    • January 8, 2013 at 11:45 am
      egg says:
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      the original terms were quite stringent and if they hadn’t been later reduced, AIG would have indeed gone out of business.

      • January 8, 2013 at 2:29 pm
        jw says:
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        I don’t know what would have happened if they had been allowed to fail, but they (AIG’s leaders) brought it on themselves. Since the company is now complaining, maybe we should have let them fail. Hindsight and all that.

      • January 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm
        RF says:
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        but they were going out anyway, or would have been sold off in pieces, as a good deal of the company was still profitable. The fact that the terms were reduced, make even less sense to be suing now!

  • January 8, 2013 at 9:03 am
    RUKidding says:
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    AIG has commercials thanking the American people and the government for bailing them out. So sad to see AIG is no better than the individual free loaders in America today. Any ungrateful corporation that joins the lawsuit should be boycotted.

    • January 8, 2013 at 9:29 am
      JavaGuy says:
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      What they were really trying to say is, ‘Yes, America, we really bungled the managemenet of our company. The loan you gave us undoubtably saved our company. But dammit, while we can/will/do charge you top dollar for our goods and services, how dare you take a big risk in losing all of your money in the bailout and make money on the deal.’ Don’t banks use credit scores to determine how much to charge people? Is this not the same? Thank you America!

  • January 8, 2013 at 9:14 am
    Taxpayer says:
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    Taxpayers should therefore sue AIG for
    mismanagement and allowing it to fail. Tic for Tat

    • January 8, 2013 at 9:50 am
      Agent says:
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      There are several on this blog in the past saying that the taxpayer bailout of AIG was a good thing and it would have been catastrophic to let them fail. Sure, there would have been market disruptions, but I would argue that the market could have absorbed the business. One reason they were rescued could have been that AIG was handling the pension/benefits package for Congress. They weren’t about to let that go down the tube. AIG really should be sued for malfeasance. I don’t care whether it was Financial Services or the P&C end. They have been crooks for a long time.

      • January 8, 2013 at 9:55 am
        Dave says:
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        If they decide to go forward with this farce we need to orchestrate some kind of a boycott of their organization. I can’t believe they are considering this so soon after airing their BS ads. But then I have to remember the company we are dealing with here.

  • January 8, 2013 at 9:20 am
    Swede700 says:
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    No one ever forced AIG into making a deal with the government. They could have said no and sunk or swam like Ford did. They also could have been ethical in the first place and never put themselves into the position of having the government come in and make a deal. I don’t think anyone is going to buy their argument that the deal was unfair, so why even bother considering joining a lawsuit with the simply bitter old man Greenberg.

    • January 8, 2013 at 11:42 am
      egg says:
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      One argument could be that the shareholders were never allowed to vote on the takeover/bailout. As a shareholder then, I would have rejected the terms and taken my chances with bankruptcy.

      • January 8, 2013 at 3:14 pm
        jax or better says:
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        Then as a shareholder, you need to sue the Board of AIG. I’m sure they carry D & O coverage.

        • January 8, 2013 at 5:41 pm
          Agent says:
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          Who would write D&O on this dysfunctional company? If they had coverage, the limits would quickly be exhausted on claims for mismanagement which caused huge financial losses.

          • January 14, 2013 at 11:42 am
            An actuary says:
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            Plenty of insurers participate on AIG’s D&O tower.

      • January 14, 2013 at 11:41 am
        An actuary says:
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        Really? You’d have taken nothing over something?

  • January 8, 2013 at 9:22 am
    Dave says:
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    Are you kidding me? Are they really considering this? Have you seen their recent ads thanking America for the bailout? In that ad they state they paid back all the debt with a $20 billion profit. $20 billion profit? Not with this BS suit. I’m going to sue those bastards for false advertising. For lying in the face of all America. Like I’ve said from the get go, they should have been allowed to fail. Despite all the gloom and doom predictions, life would have went on. And those scum in the finacial products division would not have gotten those hundreds of millions in bonuses. Are you kidding me?

  • January 8, 2013 at 9:30 am
    jester says:
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    This is the big league and these are big boys. Crying foul after the fact is almost comical. They didn’t have to accept the terms of the bailout. They got themselves into a mess and agreed to the terms voluntarily to save their own skins. Let’s see how far this one gets. (So much for the PR campaign to rebuild its image). Nice job.

  • January 8, 2013 at 9:52 am
    D says:
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    Went strait to the comments for this one.

  • January 8, 2013 at 9:53 am
    Bob Bichen says:
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    This would be a bad business decision and a PR disaster. Recently I have seen ads where AIG is cooing that they paid back the bailout, with interest. No private investor or group would have given AIG the funds they needed to survive, and certainly not at such reasonable terms. (Think loanshark rates in the alternative to Fed financing). AIG would be smart to come out saying “we don’t support this, and we thank the U.S. Government and the American people for their support.” Under Greenberg, I never heard anyone say anything good about AIG other than as to their stock returns. But after his departure and bailout, having some direct experience with AIG and Chartis, they seem to be a much better company, far more customer oriented. AIG is on the way back to the top and should stick to fundamentals, quickly dismissing this very bad idea.

    • January 8, 2013 at 10:01 am
      Dave says:
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      I think even considering this shows they have a long way to go in regard to “getting back to the top”. Once the smoke totally clears on this bailout fiasco and folks start looking at their core P&C operations as they should have the past 5 years they will see a core which required a bogus finite reinsurance deal with Gen Re used to mask bad results in the early 2000′s and really bad reserving practices which caused them to add to reserves by over $10 billion in 2009 and 2010, another effort to mask bad results. I believe there are a lot more bad results baked into their number which still need to come out. And now that they are primarily a P&C company now, hiding those results will become exponentially more difficult. On their way back to the top? I think not.

  • January 8, 2013 at 10:38 am
    DS says:
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    Let’s see, you get a $182 billion loan from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and accuse the Federal Reserve Bank of New York of being a “loan shark” by charging exorbitant interest on the initial loan. I think anyone giving you a $182 BILLION loan can charge whatever the HECK they want.

    “At the same time, Chief Executive Bob Benmosche has complained that the company and its management have not gotten enough credit for avoiding a collapse, turning the business around and returning to profitability.” — Crybaby!!!

    Just unbelievable.

  • January 8, 2013 at 10:41 am
    Center Point says:
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    No good deeds go unpunished.

  • January 8, 2013 at 11:21 am
    Sympathetic, not... says:
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    So this really gives a whole lot of credence to their new and very expensive ad campaigns that are “THANKING” the American people for stepping up and ‘bailing’ them out… Guys pull your heads out.. you can’t have it both ways, just be thankful you still have jobs and huge salaries… most of us do ot anymore….!

  • January 8, 2013 at 11:28 am
    Celtica says:
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    Dear AIG:

    Not only did you cause catastrophic economic damage to the industry, to our country and in the world by your shady, back door mismanagement in 2008, you managed to top yourself in 2013 by being the whiny bastions of greed that defines you.

    We can only hope that even insureds will be embarrassed to have your name on their policy, no matter how much you undercut premium offered by ethical, well managed, above board companies who do business in a honest manner.

    • January 8, 2013 at 2:31 pm
      Insurance Professional says:
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      I want to like this comment twice. And the well articulated remarks by several others. Hopefully Mr. Greenberg and his board reads these.

  • January 8, 2013 at 11:48 am
    Taxpayer says:
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    Similar to borrowing from your 401K and then filing a lawsuit because you lost profit while using the money. Maybe AIG could pay back our pensions for all the lost money? It is the largest stock holders who benefit from this lawsuit. i.e the board and upper management. I’m going to look at my pension and move all investments from AIG.

    • January 8, 2013 at 12:03 pm
      Agent says:
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      This is the heighth of arrogance. For years, they lorded it over the rest of the industry because they were so big. They willingly participated in bid rigging with Marsh, playing reserves shennanigans on claims to make their bottom line look better, then got into the bad paper on the sub prime loans and they dug a hole they couldn’t get out of until they had to be bailed out. The taxpayers also kept several foreign banks from going under with AIG bad paper.

  • January 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm
    RUkidding says:
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    We are all slamming AIG and hopefully someone in their PR department reads this but what are the other companies joined in this lawsuit as they should be scrutinized.

  • January 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm
    T Dubya B says:
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    Un-freaking-beleivable. The saddest part of this is that no one in federal government will learn from this, and the bailouts will happen again.

  • January 8, 2013 at 12:40 pm
    Scott says:
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    Ahhhhh….so THAT’s what the letters AIG stand for: Arrogant Insurance Guys

    • January 8, 2013 at 3:06 pm
      Agent says:
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      Good one Scott. Very appropriate explanation of the initials. Their new logo sucks as well.

  • January 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm
    Judy says:
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    This is appalling! Sue the one’s that saved you, what a sorry group! I can’t refinance my home, no bailout for us regular folks!

  • January 8, 2013 at 1:27 pm
    Broker of Record says:
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    I think this is a marketing ploy. I don’t think they will sue the government. Some feel any publicity is good publicity. After the board meeting AIG will say never mind but it brings attention to them and their new ad campaign. Are they this smart?

    • January 8, 2013 at 2:36 pm
      jw says:
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      Rather manipulative, but a possibility.

    • January 10, 2013 at 8:51 am
      Broker of Record says:
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      Told ya.

  • January 8, 2013 at 1:34 pm
    Double You Tee Eff says:
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    Could our country, and big business, be run by any more corrupt individuals? Holy cow. My name says what should happen to AIG

    • January 8, 2013 at 4:11 pm
      Interested says:
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      Your name is hilarious!

  • January 8, 2013 at 1:45 pm
    Gnashgal says:
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    What do they want a gold medal? They are an insurance company for crying out loud! There’s coverage for image restoration. Guess they missed that one. Brilliant AIG!

  • January 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm
    Random says:
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    Ummm… I’m no fan of the government right now, but WTF? AIG has the nerve to sue anyone, especially the hand that fed them? If they sue the government, we need to all sue them. Crazy

  • January 8, 2013 at 1:51 pm
    Just wow says:
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    I agree that we need to boycott AIG and make sure we do nothing to support them. This made me sick when I read it. I also want to know who the other companies are so I can avoid them as well.

    • January 8, 2013 at 2:18 pm
      Agent says:
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      There are several within the group since they are like an Octopus. Start with Chartis & Lexington. I tell my Brokers to not quote either on business I submit.

      • January 8, 2013 at 2:34 pm
        Perplexed says:
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        I believe they’re doing away with the Chartis name now that they are embracing AIG again. I like that you won’t do business with them. Wish our partners would allow the same. A couple of insured’s refused their quotes after the bailout, which made me happy.

        • January 8, 2013 at 2:36 pm
          Random says:
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          AIG, Chartis, Poop (they all sound the same to me).

        • January 8, 2013 at 2:59 pm
          Agent says:
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          After all, there are a couple thousand other companies in my Best Guide to use for business I have to submit. I will avoid any AIG company like the plague. I am still amazed that they have kept their Best Ratings in A considering what went on financially. What does that tell us about Best Ratings?

          • January 8, 2013 at 6:55 pm
            Dave says:
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            Bests lack of accurately rating insurance companies is of no surprise to me. Back in the mid 80′s Mission Insurance was rated A+ XV up until the day they went out of business. They missed the boat on Reliance, Home, Kemper and a number of others. The fact they still rate AIG as A should surprise nobody.

  • January 8, 2013 at 1:53 pm
    Really??? says:
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    They “mismanaged” their business which put them in the “high risk” category much like they do with customers that have a less than favorable credit report. So, does this mean their customers can sue them over the premiums paid???

    • January 9, 2013 at 9:48 am
      Agent says:
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      You are right Dave about Best on the ratings. We, as agents have the duty to our customers to place their business with financially stable companies rated at least A. I don’t quote any that are in the B category. With all the financial upheaval in the economy, it is getting harder to judge companies and their ability to pay claims and provide service. Brokers have the duty to quote companies that are stable as well.

  • January 8, 2013 at 2:11 pm
    workinstiff says:
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    Wow! This could shape up to be the same kind of PR disaster that the Susan Komen Race for the Cure/Planned Parenthood was. You can’t pay to get this kind of publicity! What are they thinking, to even consider suing the government that bailed them out for their earlier stupidity and greed?

  • January 8, 2013 at 2:12 pm
    Random says:
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    The only positive to note: we all agree on this (which hasn’t been the case on many other articles).

    • January 8, 2013 at 2:39 pm
      jw says:
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      I notice. It’s a little unnerving.

    • January 8, 2013 at 5:01 pm
      LiveFree says:
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      I stoped reading comments and started looking for the downvoted comment for a disagreer in the crowd. There are none!

  • January 8, 2013 at 2:26 pm
    FabIns says:
    Hot debate. What do you think?
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    I think Greenberg’s suit has merit. You have to remember that Hank was out for years as CEO before Sullivan ran it aground. Also, let’s remember that it was the environment created by the federal government that caused the collapse to begin with. Blame Bill Clinton, Franklin Delano Raines, Jamie Garelick for pushing banks to ignore underwriting loans, and then guaranteeing the swaps with the full faith and credit of the U.S. government; and Barney Frank and Chris Dodd for being asleep at the switch as chairmen of the oversight committees. They played on the field created for them, and it all stemmed from ethnic political correctness and “equality”.

    • January 8, 2013 at 2:33 pm
      Random says:
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      I agree that the government (and more specifically policies put forth by key democrats such as Carter and Clinton) were the main contributors to this whole mess, but AIG (and other companies) jumped on that band wagon. In my opinion, they (gov’t and corps) are all to blame for this, but it just doesn’t make sense for AIG to sue.

      • January 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm
        Interested says:
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        The government and big corporations are in bed together – all corrupt and too powerful.

        • January 8, 2013 at 4:40 pm
          Agent says:
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          You are right Interested. We have big time crony Capitalism with big corps and government. I read a story today that one of our other favorite banks, Bank of America was screwing around with holding up deposits and transactions of an Arms manufacturer and they did it on the guise of gun control. I smell a rat in the administration putting them up to it. Luckily, the Arms manufacturer moved their accounts to another bank. Good going BOA. You ran off a customer with millions of deposits in your bank. Keep doing it and maybe Geightner will have to bail you out again since your hands were dirty the last go around.

  • January 8, 2013 at 2:51 pm
    Sargent Major says:
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    This is ironic. Here is the story as I understand it and heard from AIG (I know they only lie when their lips move). AIG had a subsidiary which would underwrite loan portfolio sales. Banks would package up loans and sell them (seciuritizations) with a rating generally A- or better. Then on the “better” Portfolios they would insure them for loss with AIG. A couple issues here- 1) The loan portfolios were rated way above what they should have been because the bank mixed fair to bad loans with good loans and 2) It does not appear AIG had anyone do an underwriting audit to find out how much sh*t they were insuring- OOPs. When the housing market collapsed The US Fed had to pump money into the banks- Which they did and they needed AIG to pay off on the insurance contracts they had on the non performing loan portfolios (Nearly all of them). Aig would have collapsed without the US Fed because they did not estimate the severity of the losses and did not reserve for the catastrophe- OOPs. So the US Government gave money to AIG, who gave the money to the banks who paid it our to cover the losses on the loan portfolios. The US also gave more bailout money to each of the banks to keep them a float.
    If AIG had not been balied out it would have collapsed. No one in their right mind would loan them any money so, they go to the lender of last resort- The US Government. That is like going to a loan shark because you need money and no one else will loan you any. If you don’t like the terms, tough, go someplace else. the problem was the US Gov needed AIG and AIG needed them. This was really nothing but a shell game and in the end the working taxpayer got the tab. Now AIG don’t like the deal- Tough. We should sue them and reverse the terms to the original agreement and hand them another bill.

    • January 8, 2013 at 3:42 pm
      FabIns says:
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      You’re missing a piece, and that is the reason for no reserving. They government said they didn’t need to because you and I were their reinsurer. And, yes, too many jumped on TARP just to borrow some low-interest walking around money to play with.

    • January 8, 2013 at 4:18 pm
      Interested says:
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      Goldman Sachs was paid 100% to the dollar (by AIG) that they lost in their gamble of CDS. This is unheard of! Goldman Sach is not innocent in this whole thing – they insisted on 100% – and the percentage most carriers pay for these type of losses is much less.

      • January 8, 2013 at 5:36 pm
        D says:
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        You are right on the money on this bro. Ex Goldman guy Hank Paulson put this deal together too.

  • January 8, 2013 at 5:34 pm
    Chester says:
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    On the street they say, “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” In this instance, it’s “AIG, Chartis, new AIG… whatever…if you don’t like the deal, don’t sign and then squeal.” That’s what you’d tell a policy holder after they cashed the claim check, ain’t it, Boss?

  • January 8, 2013 at 6:01 pm
    Sargent Major says:
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    Yes, they covered Goldman Sachs but the old Golman Partner- Paulson- killed Lehman Brothers. Surely it had nothing to do with the fact that were competitors of Goldman Sachs and paulson hated them?

    one other thing that we might try- Have the US government re audit AIG’s books and restate the earnings to reflect all of the losses the Government paid for. Then recalculate all of the millions of dollars in bonus payments made to the “Greenburg gang” during that period based on the restaed actual numbers. Then tell AIG you want the bonus money paid out based upon the recalculation- real numbers. If they want to go back aainst the “Greenburg Gang” personally, go for it But the executives in this tracesty walked away with millions and the only thing they got was- your retired.

    • January 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm
      Agent says:
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      Sargent, I think it is called “Picking the Winners & Losers”. Whenever government gets in bed with big corps/banks, it usually doesn’t work out for taxpayers. I understand that several Goldman Sachs guys went to work in the Obama Administration. How can that end well?

  • January 8, 2013 at 6:24 pm
    nomesaneman says:
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    I enjoy bashing AIG as much as anybody else, but realistically I think it’s a safe bet that AIG won’t join the lawsuit (I’d give 5:1 odds agianst). At the same time however, AIG must excercise due diligence though by considering it on behalf of their policyholders because of two words: Fiduciary duty.

    • January 9, 2013 at 5:47 am
      Phoenix says:
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      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  • January 9, 2013 at 9:35 am
    Agent says:
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    Stop with the cavalier attitude about AIG Phoenix. If you had been paying attention to what has been happening to AIG over the last 15 or 20 years, I don’t think you would believe they have conducted themselves well. They have managed to give the industry a bad name. No wonder consumers do not hold insurance companies in high esteem. Not quite as low as government, but close.

  • January 9, 2013 at 11:53 am
    Kev1n says:
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    Isn’t this a little like starting a fire, calling the fire department to get you out of the burning building, and then suing them because they banged your knee on the doorjamb on the way out of the building?

    • January 9, 2013 at 12:02 pm
      Dave says:
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      Ever see the movie The Incredibles? A retired super hero becomes a insurance company claims person. (How appropriate.) The movie begins with the story as to why he retired. He saved a man trying to commit suicide and in the process injured the guy he ultimately saved. Due to the injury, the injured man successfully sued the super hero leading to his retirement. So AIG shoots itself in the foot with that stupid financial products unit making incredibly risky bets and running their P&C operations into the ground with bad pricing, underwriting and reserving practices. They then try to sue the same federal government who saved them from their stupidity and bad management. You hit the nail on the head Kev1n.

  • January 9, 2013 at 12:16 pm
    Agent says:
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    Right Dave, AIG had their hand out asking to be saved and didn’t like the stipulations on the bailout. In their mind, they probably expected a no interest loan to be paid back at their leisure. Sub prime borrowers got loans when they didn’t have the means to pay the mortgage payment. Big Banks and Big Government are both rotten to the core. This is no way to run a railroad and the innocent taxpayers have to pick up the tab everytime there is a screw up and it caused the economy to tank. A lot of these guys should be occupying a cell with Bernie but I have heard of no one from AIG, Goldman Sachs etc going to jail over their crimes.

    • January 9, 2013 at 6:56 pm
      Phoenix says:
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      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • January 10, 2013 at 9:56 am
        Agent says:
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        I am just an Independent Agent who is fed up with how this country has lost its way and morphed into something I don’t recognize anymore. It is really pretty tragic. AIG is really just a small piece of the puzzle. I am afraid I don’t have time to go out and sleep in tents, go without a shower for a month at a time, get on the government dole etc like a lot of your friends do.

  • January 14, 2013 at 2:08 pm
    Annoyed says:
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    I presented a quote just last week. Unfortunately, AIG was one, of three, that offered a quote. I couldn’t believe it and to do my job and offer ALL opportunities (considering the amount of premium there was), I did. The board of directors asked me if I wanted to stay in their office and that I had “better not ever bring AIG as an option if you want to continue working with us in the future”. AIG is a joke and the government should have let them sink! They only did it to themselves and we’re the ones paying for it. Not only did they take our money once for THEIR mistake, but now they want to take it again? Who’s paying for the fight against their stupidity? Us yet again!!!!!!!!!!

    • January 15, 2013 at 10:11 am
      Agent says:
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      There are a lot of businesses out there who have heard of AIG and their troubles. Many have told me not to propose anything they have to offer. AIG takes arrogance to a new level.



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