Business

Treasury Sells AIG Stake. Makes $22.7B Profit From $182B Bailout.

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So much for moral hazard…

9:39AM EST December 11. 2012 – WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Treasury Department said Tuesday that it has sold all its remaining shares of American International Group (AIG), moving to wrap up the government’s biggest bailout of the 2008 financial crisis.

Treasury said it received $32.50 per share for its 234.2 million remaining shares, which represented a 16% ownership stake in the giant insurance company.

And let’s remember how much of AIG we owned…

Treasury conducted six public offerings of AIG stock the past 19 months, selling a total of 1.66 billion shares of the company. At the start of the sales, Treasury had owned 92% of AIG’s outstanding common stock.

Listen, nobody liked it, and AIG was at the heart of why we were plunged into The Great Recession.

But four years later we’re in a much stronger position. And let’s remember that the bailout happened under George W. Bush’s watch. Hardly somebody who believed in bailouts.

The moral of this story: extraordinary times sometimes call for extraordinary measures. This was one of them. And we did the exact opposite of losing our ass. And it only took 4 years.

Basically, it would have been catastrophically irresponsible to let AIG fail and just wait to see what would happen to the companies it was insuring against massive losses.

Last, but certainly not least…

With the AIG stock sales, the government has gotten back $380 billion, or more than 90% of the $418 billion it disbursed through TARP.

More as it develops…