Tag Archives: AIG bailout

It Was Not a Free Lunch: The True Cost of the AIG Bailout

James Tilson and Robert E. Prasch

“If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”  This old adage came to mind on December 11, 2012 when the U.S. Treasury made the announcement, reiterated unthinkingly by the press, that the AIG bailout was coming to an end with American taxpayers making a tidy profit on the deal.  In an effort to capitalize on the news, AIG has spent millions of dollars on a primetime ad campaign thanking America for the bailout, highlighting its success:  “We’ve repaid every dollar America lent us.  Everything, plus a profit of more than 22 billion.”  Unfortunately, this cleverly designed public relations maneuver deceives the taxpayer by distorting the perception of what has been a contentious use of government funds.

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