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U.S. to sell last holdings of bailout lightning rod AIG

Published December 10, 2012 5:39 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Washington • The U.S. government announced it is selling its remaining shares of American International Group stock, moving to close the books on the government's biggest bailout during the 2008 financial crisis.

Treasury said it had begun a sale of 234.2 million shares of common stock in a public offering. The government's shares represent a 16 percent ownership stake in the insurance company.

Treasury has already recovered more on its AIG investment that the original $182.3 billion bailout. It was the largest government bailout package, including both loans and federal guarantees.

As of September, Treasury and the Federal Reserve had received $197.4 billion.

AIG, which is based in New York City, nearly collapsed at the height of the financial crisis. The company suffered massive losses from exotic financial instruments whose value was based on mortgage securities.

AIG became a symbol for excessive risk on Wall Street and a touchstone of public anger. It was criticized by some members of Congress for spending $440,000 on spa treatments for executives only days after it was bailed out.

AIG stock closed at $33.36 on Monday, down 77 cents from Friday's close. AIG stock has traded from a low of $22.19 and a high of $37.67 over the past 52 weeks.