Today in You Have Got to Be Kidding News, insurance giant American International Group–seen by many as the most obvious bad guy in the economic collapse that nearly wrecked the world’s biggest economy in 2008–has apparently considered joining a suit against the very entity that saved its ass from oblivion: the U.S. government.
AIG has repaid the billions in federal loans that allowed it to stay afloat, but the suit (filed by the company’s former chief executive, who is still an investor) claims that the abnormally high interest rate charged by the government violates the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment, which protects “private property” against “public use, without just compensation” (of course, the company agreed to this rate when accepting the bailout).
To state the obvious: this is a bit of a contradiction from a corporate entity that just released an ad “thanking” the American taxpayer for providing the funds that allowed it to live another day. Here’s that predictably ridiculous spot, complete with models straight out of a stock photo portfolio.
OK, so AIG thanks Americans for helping it survive when they had no choice in the matter but sues the government for supposedly screwing its shareholders by making a profit off an extremely risky investment? We won’t call ourselves business experts, but we can’t think of a better way for a massive company to fail its investors than falling into bankruptcy thanks to its own dubious practices.
Now we have a headache. And while we understand that AIG was and is “too big to fail”, at this moment we really wish the government had just let it burn.