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If you had asked me at the start of the year what would occur first–that American International Group would nearly be destroyed by unwise investments and forced to hand over the bulk of its shares to Uncle Sam to stay afloat, or that I would almost be run over by a herd of camels in the middle of New York City–I’d definitely have bet on the camels, however unlikely such a scenario might appear to be.

I would indeed have lost that bet, as two months before my too-close encounter with spitting-mad camels (who, by the way, crossed my path while simply getting some fresh air and exercise in Rockefeller Center before their next “Christmas Spectacular” performance at Radio City Music Hall), AIG had to throw itself on the mercy of the government to stay in business.

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