Too big to be allowed to fail, the ailing insurer American International Group is to get more US government bailout money even though it has reported a loss of almost $62 billion in the fourth quarter – that is 50 billion euros.
That is the biggest quarterly loss in corporate history and works out to around 530 million euros a day. It is the fifth quarter in a row that AIG has lost money. Just before the results were announced, the US Treasury and the central bank, the Federal Reserve said AIG will get another $30 billion – 24 billion euros – from US taxpayers on top of the $150 billion it has already received. That is because AIG poses a “systemic risk” meaning its collapse could damage the entire financial system. It operates in more than 130 countries, insures more than 100,000 organisations employing over 100 million Americans and has in excess of 30 million policyholders in the US.