CNHI News Service

Opinion

January 21, 2013

AIG selects the right path

Is there such a thing as excess in capitalism? I thought about that last

week when insurance giant AIG -- the one on life support in 2008 until
bailed out by taxpayers -- toyed with the idea of joining some of its
shareholders in a lawsuit against the federal government.

This was the same week that AIG ran ads thanking Americans for coming to its rescue. After a long meeting with shareholders and the fed, AIG declined to join the suit, giving hope that a good deed is still a good deed even in the world of predatory capitalism.

The suit was filed by Maurice Greenberg, former CEO of AIG who is now a
major investor with his new company, Starr International. The suit was
tossed out of a New York court but was allowed to proceed in a D.C.
federal court.

Greenberg argued that the government charged too high of an interest rate at 14 percent, but the company freely entered into the bailout terms and could’ve chosen bankruptcy that would have left shareholders with nothing.

I’m sure the same people bellyaching over the 14 percent would have no
qualms with payday loan companies charging 300 percent interest on their
poor clientele. In fact, many of those same complainers probably invest
in payday loans businesses.

Starr also cited the Fifth Amendment in its suit, the one that says the government cannot take private property for public use without just compensation. This is asinine. AIG was not taken by the government for public use. The company agreed to a loan to stay afloat. George W. Bush’s secretary of the Treasury, Hank Paulson, decided that AIG was too big to fail. It’s clear now that all of these companies on the brink in 2008 should’ve tanked to begin the economy anew, but that’s another story.

Text Only
Opinion
  • taylor.armerding.jpg Obama's equal pay exaggeration leads us all into danger

    The president's claims of national shame over gender-based pay inequity spring from distorted calculations, as well as some convenient political math.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Voters beware of oligarchs and bogeymen

    Scaring voters to distract them from issues is a tired - and bipartisan - ploy sure to be in heavy rotation this campaign season.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Put teens to work by laying off minimum wage rhetoric

    Idle teen workers may be a national problem, but frugal private employers aren't the reason for it. Minimum wage hikes - like the one championed by President Obama - squeeze these marginal jobs out of the economy.
     

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Legal marijuana can be government's new cash crop

    Officials holding out against legalized marijuana may "evolve" their thinking because of one number: Colorado says it gathered $2 million in taxes from pot shops in January, as business was just getting started.

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Banning a 'B-word' teaches girls the wrong lesson

    Striking the word "bossy" from the language doesn't help young girls learn to speak up or become leaders. It teaches them how to be, well, bossy.

    March 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Giving businesses choice is not legalizing discrimination

    The owner of a California gay bar should be allowed to refuse service to legislators he considers "crazy, ignorant or stupid." The problem is the popular double-standard that supports his version of "discrimination" while raging against anyone who disagrees with him but wants the same freedom.

    March 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Obama twists Constitution to cut U.S. military

    President Obama's plan to slash the military to pre-World War II levels endangers the country, especially when our enemies don't know the war is over.

    February 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Benefits of hiking minimum wage are an illusion

    The president's latest economic fantasy says raising the minimum wage will incentivize work, lower unemployment, juice the economy and may even lower taxes. All while businesses swallow billions of dollars more in labor costs.

    February 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Coastal residents should pay true cost of flood insurance

    The environmental champions in Congress took a big break from their moral scolding this past month with a gigantic “Never mind!” after their constituents discovered the law requiring them to start paying the true cost of living in flood-prone areas.

    February 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Death penalty warranted in Boston Marathon bombing case

    It's a good thing Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wasn't given over to the angry masses after he was arrested in Boston. It's also fair that, if found guilty, he should face the death penalty.

    February 7, 2014 1 Photo

News
Sports

Features