Elizabeth Warren has been in office for a matter of days and she already has a win against Wall Street. As Addicting Info reported earlier, insurance giant AIG was threatening to sue the U.S. government over the terms of the company’s bailout, the taxpayer-sponsored $182 billion dollar deal that saved the company for destitution and, with it, the American economy. An ex-CEO referred to the Federal Reserve as a “loan shark” and complained that the terms of the deal just weren’t great enough for AIG and demanded recompense. He’s going after $25 billion in compensation from the government and the company itself has been contemplating joining the suit.
If you’re wondering, this is something akin to complaining that the firemen didn’t do quite a good enough job keeping your house from burning down. Why, just look at those scorch marks in the foyer! Do you know how long it will take Jeeves to buff those out?!?
Elizabeth Warren, a woman Wall Street already has plenty of reasons to fear, was having none of it. As reported by the Huffington Post, Warren blasts the inconceivable greed and lack of gratefulness represented by the suit, saying:
Beginning in 2008, the federal government poured billions of dollars into AIG to save it from bankruptcy. AIG’s reckless bets nearly crashed our entire economy. 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. AIG should thank American taxpayers for their help, not bite the hand that fed them for helping them out in a crisis.
The result? AIG has announced, wisely, that they will not be joining the suit.
None of us should be surprised they contemplated the move at all or that it’s a former AIG executive leading the charge. Since the 2008 bailout, AIG has proven itself to be extremely tone-deaf, having paid millions in bonuses to the very employees responsible for bringing it to the brink of ruin just shortly after having received the government bailout. The company has, since the very beginning of this disaster, patently refused to acknowledge that it was the mindset of its employees and the culture they were operating in – one of completely unchecked risk and greed – that caused the collapse in the first place. While it was hardly a rare phenomenon on Wall Street, it seems that even now, nearly five years later, the company’s leadership still hasn’t quite gotten the message and will only respond to the sort of newspaper-whack-to-the-nose that someone like Elizabeth Warren is capable of providing.