AIG Attitude Makes Sense

In General Interest by Jonathan Tasini0 Comments

My first reaction to AIG’s consideration of a suit against the government was like many people: what the fuck? You guys should all be in jail, not swimming along thanks to $182 billion in taxpayer bailout money. But, then, in retrospect, it makes sense.

Of course, this is accurate:

“AIG should thank American taxpayers for their help, not bite the hand that fed them for helping them out in a crisis,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said in a statement. “Taxpayers across this country saved AIG from ruin, and it would be outrageous for this company to turn around and sue the federal government because they think the deal wasn’t generous enough. Even today, the government provides an ongoing, stealth bailout, propping up AIG with special tax breaks — tax breaks that Congress should stop.”

But, think about this for a moment.

We live in a political world which just gave the big banks a stay-out-of-jail, soak-your-customers-and-shareholders wet kiss of a deal.

Not a single high-ranking official of any of the banks that caused global misery has gone to jail. In fact, they are mostly in their jobs, making piles more in pay and benefits — while millions still suffer from their greed and criminality.

We don’t have political leaders that have the guts to handcuff these guys and lead them off to prison.

So, it makes perfect sense that in that environment and culture the AIG executives, who are morally bankrupt pigs, would think that somehow they were wronged, that they have cause to sue the very people who kept them from going under.

This is the American “free market”.

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