AIG, Which Helped Create Financial Meltdown, May Sue Government for Saving It

Remember that time Lois Lane sued Superman for saving her from the burning airplane? No? That’s because even in fiction, everybody knows it’s a jerkwad move to bring litigation against the hero who saved you from a fiery, horrific death. The world of high finance, however, is far more bizarre than fiction: The New York Times reports that AIG—which helped precipitate the nation’s 2008 financial meltdown with its own troubles—is considering joining a $25 billion shareholder lawsuit against the government. The shareholders claim that the government’s rescue—in which the feds sunk $182 billion of taxpayer money into the company and took a 92 percent stake, in order to prevent its collapse—amounted to a “taking” of their property without compensation. Left unmentioned is this: If the government hadn’t stepped in to rescue AIG, there wouldn’t have been any property to take: AIG would’ve collapsed and, more than it already did, taken the American economy with it—we’d now be living in a Mad Max-style post-apocalypse world of warrior tribes, feasting on the bones of the very bankers who got us into this mess. Given the threat of a lawsuit, maybe that was the way to go. [New York Times]