If you haven’t been following the AIG story as closely as we have, and you’re unsure of how the firm managed to find itself in such a mess, our own John Carney has written the best account of it over at The American Conservative. Do check it out:
In last summer’s blockbuster “The Dark Knight,” the Joker invites one of the top crime lords of Gotham City to the rundown warehouse where he has stashed his ill-gotten gains. The mobster stares in awe at the huge stack of money the arch-criminal has amassed. But a moment later, his awe turns to horror as the Joker sets the money aflame.
“This town deserves a better class of criminal,” he explains.
The exchange reveals the deep evil of the Joker. Unlike a common criminal, he doesn’t just want to steal money from others. He wants to destroy their wealth.
When Americans discovered a few weeks ago that federal officials had spent another weekend of Diet Coke-fuelled all-nighters concocting yet another bailout of the American International Group, they might have been reminded of this scene. This was the fourth time since September that taxpayers had rescued AIG from collapse. The new $30 billion infusion from the Treasury brought the total amount of taxpayer dollars delivered to AIG to $160 billion. Read the whole thing >