U.S. Government Responds to Greenberg's AIG Lawsuit

Former AIG CEO Maurice R. Former AIG CEO Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg exits Manhattan federal court, June 15, 2009 (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)

NU Online News Service, March 2, 3:32 p.m. EST

The U.S. government has asked a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit filed against it by Maurice Greenberg and Starr International on behalf of the shareholders of American International Group Inc.

In its filing, the government charged that AIG had asked and agreed to be rescued, "electing to save itself from a failure of its own making."

The government filing was in the U.S. Court of Claims in Washington. Greenberg and Starr claimed, in a suit amended Jan. 31, that that the terms of federal aid to AIG starting in 2008 “amounted to an attempt to ‘steal the business.’”

The government said in its filing that although Starr may disagree with the terms to which AIG agreed, any loss resulting from that agreement should be borne by AIG and its shareholders, and not the public.

"Starr demands that the court second guess AIG and rewrite the rescue agreement by making American taxpayers pay an additional $25 billion, based upon a market valuation of AIG after the rescue," the government said in the filing.

Greenberg is chairman and managing director of Starr International.

The suit was originally filed Nov. 21. It seeks $25 billion from the federal government for Starr, Greenberg “and on behalf of all others similarly situated and, derivatively, on behalf of AIG.”

On the same date, Starr also sued the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which provided the initial $85 billion in aid to AIG in September 2008. That suit is pending in Federal District Courtfor the Southern District of New York in Manhattan. It argues that other troubled banks were offered better terms than AIG in a “backdoor bailout.”

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