The AIG board is weighing whether to join a $25 billion lawsuit against the US government for forcing unacceptably high losses on shareholders in its bailout. The argument is that this violated the Fifth Amendment's prohibition on the government seizing private property without just compensation.
AIG's move comes at an awkward moment because there is nationwide TV ad campaign from the company, thanking Uncle Sam for its help during the bailout.
The news drew immediate outrage, including from Sen. Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley). The OR Democrat tweeted, "Pull out the violin. AIG, recipient of a $182 billion bailout, now wants to sue gov't due to bailout's 'onerous nature.' Are they kidding?"
"AIG, bailed out by U.S., may now sue U.S., claiming bailout terms were too harsh. We should counter-sue for stupidity," tweeted UC Berkeley professor Robert Reich (@RBReich), a former labor secretary.
And New York Times Washington correspondent Binyamin Appelbaum (@BCAppelbaum) put it this way: "It's a free country AIG. Next time find your own lifeboat. Or drown."
Via The New York Times and Politix reporting.