Passport

Who’s getting the AIG bailout funds?

    Last night, NBC late-night comedian Jay Leno — hosting U.S. President Barack Obama this week — riffed extensively on the international implications of the increasingly catastrophic AIG bailout during his monologue: [The AIG executives] bankrupt the company, took $170 billion of our dollars and they’re giving out bonuses. You know the main thing ...

587696_090317_AIGbailout5.jpg

 

 

Last night, NBC late-night comedian Jay Leno — hosting U.S. President Barack Obama this week — riffed extensively on the international implications of the increasingly catastrophic AIG bailout during his monologue:

 

 

Last night, NBC late-night comedian Jay Leno — hosting U.S. President Barack Obama this week — riffed extensively on the international implications of the increasingly catastrophic AIG bailout during his monologue:

[The AIG executives] bankrupt the company, took $170 billion of our dollars and they’re giving out bonuses. You know the main thing they want to reward their people for? Convincing the Treasury Department to give $170 billion dollars to a failing company, so they can give out bonuses for a job well done. You know what “AIG” stands for — anybody know? Adventures in Greed.

They don’t have to account for any of us. Now it turns out they gave $35 billion — not million, $35 billion — of our money to bail out European banks. See, this is how a global economy works. Our hard-earned tax dollars are used to bail out German banks for making bad investments in American companies that shut down because the Japanese owners moved the whole thing to India, China, and Mexico. Boy, you thought St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland? Let’s send him down to Wall Street!

Turns out, Leno’s right. This week, AIG released a document listing the “financial counterparties” who received $101 billion directly from the U.S. government’s “emergency loan.” AIG used more than of half the Treasury funds to pay down money owed for things like credit default swaps — most of which went to foreign companies’ coffers. Using data BusinessWeek broke down, we made the above chart.  

Funny how the comedians are besting the finance experts now, huh?

Annie Lowrey is assistant editor at FP.

More from Foreign Policy

The Taliban delegation leaves the hotel after meeting with representatives of Russia, China, the United States, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Qatar in Moscow on March 19.

China and the Taliban Begin Their Romance

Beijing has its eyes set on using Afghanistan as a strategic corridor once U.S. troops are out of the way.

An Afghan security member pours gasoline over a pile of seized drugs and alcoholic drinks

The Taliban Are Breaking Bad

Meth is even more profitable than heroin—and is turbocharging the insurgency.

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya addresses the U.N. Security Council from her office in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Sept. 4, 2020.

Belarus’s Unlikely New Leader

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya didn’t set out to challenge a brutal dictatorship.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid

What the Taliban Takeover Means for India

Kabul’s swift collapse leaves New Delhi with significant security concerns.