Sorry, but between their endless junkets and ongoing schemes to improve their bailout deal, AIG (AIG) is just the gift that keeps on, er, giving. Giving us stuff to write and laugh about is kind of their way of paying back eerything they’ve taken.
We understand that its CEO Edward Liddy’s job to get as much for shareholders as possible, but also has to keep up AIG’s reputation with the public that’s paying his salary. So to that end, here’s the howler he told Neil Cavuto last night in an inerview on Fox Business:
On whether there are any conditions to AIG’s latest loan:
“There are not conditions of that nature attached to our loan. We are paying a fair amount of money to the taxpayer; the taxpayer will do very well on our preferred stock and the loan we have outstanding and some upside on some financial entities that we have outstanding. We’re not going to use this money to go buy something.”
Huh? Was anyone actually concerned that AIG was going to make acquisitions with the bailout money? That’s kind of been a scandal with the bailout money that’s gone to the banks — that they’ll use the cash for deals and not for lending — but that has nothing to do with AIG’s situation. AIG wasn’t even supposed to use the money for ongoing operations, but rather to tide them over while they sold off their assets. Of course, they’ve been dragging their feet on that, while bragging about the health of their core business.
Liddy’s making a cynical (but perhaps accurate) guess that by confusing the issues affecting AIG and the banks the public will see AIG as the more responsible party. Then again, if your business is based on collecting tax money, of course you’ll think like a politician.
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