While Ackman and Loeb battle it out over HLF, the other potentially firework-prone battle has died an ignominious death. The WSJ reports that AIG has generously decided not to bit the Treasury hand that fed it just a few short years ago:
- *AIG WON'T JOIN GREENBERG SUIT CHALLENGING U.S. BAILOUT :AIG US
- *AIG WON'T PURSUE CLAIMS ITSELF :AIG US
- *AIG SEES FILING FORMAL STATEMENT WITH COURTS IN COMING WEEKS
- *BENMOSCHE SAYS HE PERSONALLY TOLD GREENBERG ABOUT AIG VOTE
It seems that common-sense prevailed for once - or did Benmosche and team get a friendly tap on the shoulder from outgoing Treasury head Geithner that stirring up a few million pages of Treasury documentation would not be good for anyone?
American International Group Inc.'s directors decided Wednesday not to participate in a lawsuit that accuses the U.S. government of taking advantage of the company in its rescue from the financial crisis, according to two people briefed on the decision.
The suit was filed in 2011 in a federal claims court by Starr International Co., the company headed by AIG's 87-year-old former chief executive, Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg, and seeks $25 billion in damages for AIG and its shareholders. Starr requested that AIG join it in pursuing the claims, and the insurer's board agreed to hear presentations on the suit during Wednesday's meeting.
News of AIG's consideration of the matter this week unleashed a torrent of criticism that the big insurer appeared ungrateful toward taxpayers for the massive rescue effort, one of the biggest of the 2008-09 crisis.
Mindful of the potential backlash, a number of AIG directors entered Wednesday's meeting leaning toward rejecting Starr's request to join its suit, people familiar with their thinking said. Endorsing Starr's action, the people said, could hinder AIG's efforts to rebuild its reputation.
Last month, the U.S. government sold its last remaining shares in AIG, and on Jan. 1 the company launched a nationwide advertising campaign thanking U.S. taxpayers and touting its recovery from the crisis.
AIG's directors met for dinner Tuesday night in advance of Wednesday's unusual mock-trial-like session, in which teams of high-powered lawyers representing Starr, the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve were expected to make presentations about the matter.