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View Diary: A.I.G. May Sue U.S. Gov’t For $25 Billion As It Airs “Thank You, America!” TV Ad (205 comments)

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  •  Except this is not eminent domain (36+ / 0-)

    The government didn't just "take" their property. They had a choice -- they could have gone through bankruptcy. They chose the path of the government takeover.

    Sleazy bastards ... accepting the government's help, without which the shareholders would have been left with virtually nothing, and now complaining that they didn't get enough!

    Republicans: ten-time gold medalists in synchronized stupidity ~ Hunter

    by cedubose on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:19:32 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. (16+ / 0-)

      My question is, what lost profits?  If they had failed (as they were apparently about to do) there would have been NO profits!

      I realize corporate law and reality don't intersect very often but this is beyond cognitive dissonance!

      Wouldn't they have to prove they would have had profits absent the bailout?

      This country badly needs a few bankers doing a very public perp walk.

      I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country. -- Thomas Jefferson

      by nilajean on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:41:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The government didn't "take" their property. (12+ / 0-)

      The government was shoveling taxpayer money in the front door, and paying AIG's default swap contracts with taxpayer money out the back door.  In other words, it was paying off AIG's own legal contracts with taxpayer money.  AIG's beef is that they should have got a cut of the taxpayer money flowing through AIG?  And that because they didn't get a cut, the government was "taking" from AIG via eminent domain??  Want to bet some idiot judge will agree with AIG?

      •  I sure don't (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim, Egalitare, SilentBrook

        Most takings claims are filed by rich angry people with money to burn on lawyers.  I doubt this one goes anywhere at all.  It'd make shocking new law if it did.

        You are right, there's no taking here. (Note, the NY court threw them out straight off.  That's not typically a good sign of the merits, depending on the reason for being tossed)

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:22:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Shareholders WERE left with virtually nothing. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      schnecke21, SilentBrook

      Stock value dropped to pennies virtually overnight. It's recovered a bit but not much.

      I agree, however, that if the only alternative was bankruptcy, the shareholders (of whom I was one) don't have a lot to complain about in the bailout. The real complaint is against the prior Board for concealing the extent of the credit default swap obligations, which concealment artificially propped up the stock's value in the months preceding the crash.

      •  If there WERE other alternatives (3+ / 0-)

        besides bankruptcy then the board could have and should have pursued them.  In any case, it just was not the government's responsibility to protect the AIG shareholders' interests.  I know that sounds crass, but you can't use fiduciary duty as a sword and a shield -- here, Greenberg keeps bleating that AIG doesn't owe the US anything, that it only owes a duty to its shareholders -- but the flipside is that NO ONE ELSE owes those shareholders anything AT ALL.  

        I realize that in his little world the deal is usually "heads I win tails you lose," but that just can't be true all the time even for him.

        Although the U.S.  might have been acting in a regulatory capacity at the time, it was not following a prescribed set of rules and it was basically acting as a purchaser of assets and shouldn't be held to any higher standard than any other purchaser/investor at the time would have been.  If it paid MORE than it needed to it would have been selling out the main beneficiaries of its fiduciary duty, that is, American citizens who fund the government.  I am not going to analogize them to shareholders, but Greenberg is nuts if he thinks he was owed more by the U.S. than he was by any other purchaser.  

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