Do they really think we are going to just let them off the hook for billions and billions of dollars worth of loans?
That's apparently the offer AIG is presenting the government. The company is reportedly trying to get the U.S. to cancel a big chunk of loans provided to AIG and convert the preferred shares into common shares, according to the
. This follows the model of
to the government earlier this week.
But AIG's plan is even more sneaky. The company also wants to
and convert the government's 80% ownership of the whole business into large stakes in the new divisions -- an Asian unit, an international life insurance unit and a U.S. unit, according to the
It's the old divide and conquer plan -- they'll split up the big U.S. loans among smaller divisions that can then lobby individually for the loans to be canceled. This will make each division's request seem more reasonable because it won't look like such a huge amount of money.
Let's be clear about what AIG and Citi are trying to do -- they want to take taxpayers for a ride. They want something for nothing. They shouldn't get it.
You can be darn sure that AIG and Citi will forcibly insist on repayment of any loans they make to individual taxpayers.
Therefore, they should expect the same treatment for the loans they received
taxpayers. That goes for
Bank of America
and any other bank that took federal bailout money.
The government should forcibly insist upon repayment.
Hall is the editor of
. Previously, he served as deputy editor and chief innovation officer at
The Orange County Register
and as a news manager at
in Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Washington, D.C. As a reporter, he covered business and financial markets, worked in both print and television in the U.S. and Europe, and conducted in-depth investigative coverage at
in Fort Wayne, Ind. His work also has been published in a variety of newspapers including
The Wall Street Journal
The New York Times
International Herald Tribune
. Hall received a bachelor�s degree in journalism and political science from The Ohio State University and has taken graduate management science courses at Boston University.