The insurance giant American International Group Inc. will consider joining a lawsuit against the very entity that rescued it in 2008: the U.S. government. AIG’s board will meet today to make a final decision.
AIG claims that the $182 billion bailout was unfair, as it allowed the government to take a 92% stake in the company, charge high interest rates, and ultimately cost shareholders billions of dollars. The insurer further argues that the bailout violated the Fifth Amendment, which prohibits the taking of private property “for public use, without just compensation.”
This comes almost two years after Bank of America, which received $45 billion in bailout dollars, paid no federal taxes in 2010 and received a $1 billion tax refund.
What's next? A Goldman Sachs lawsuit? I can see the press release now, arguing that "regulations against money laundering have cost our shareholders trillions in potential income, and thereby cost the taxpayer billions in potential tax revenue. There is no reason that a bank, which serves the public interest, should be prevented from creating jobs through the printing of U.S. dollars."
I can also see members of Congress urging judges to favor the banks on these matters, citing that banks contribute billions of dollars to the political process, without which congressmen would be unable to buy fancy cars and homes that employ millions of American workers.
And although this is unconfirmed, later this week, Congress may introduce the Help America Act, which gives financial institutions total control over all government functions, and a 51% share of American souls.