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If the “official” (read: “press release”) reaction from insurance industry trade groups about the Fed’s $85 billion-dollar bailout of AIG is any indication, the controversial move is quite simply a Very Good Thing. They point to the fact that there are safeguards — AIG has 24 months to pay off the loan with interest, most likely by selling off substantial portions of its business to who knows what investors. They say it will stabilize the markets and will not lead to the domino effect of more bailouts.

Then why am I so bothered by the principle of the thing?

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