American International Group (AIG) may have turned the government not only into a lender of last resort, but a buyer of last resort as well.
AIG, the battered insurance giant, is reportedly facing a loss of up to $60 billion on Monday, according to several news outlets, and has received only paltry bids on several prized businesses it's been trying to sell to repay a massive government loan. A combination of factors -- a weak economic outlook, few bidders and those bidders' knowledge that AIG is desperate to sell -- have complicated the firm's efforts.
In exchange for $150 billion in emergency funds last fall, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York received a nearly 80% stake in AIG in the form of preferred stock. AIG is required to pay out hefty dividends on those shares, but as it faces additional losses, AIG and the government are hammering out a new repayment plan and considering radical options to keep the struggling firm afloat.
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