According to the Associated Press, AIG stills owes us about $50 billion.
This all happened in September, 2008 so don't send me some anti-Obama screed. He was still 10 weeks away from even being elected, much less sworn in.
For AIG it was like every car in California was totaled on the same afternoon. No auto insurance company prices its products with that thought in mind. It has the same probability of a wrench, that had once drifted away from an astronaut, falling out of orbit and hitting you in the head.
But, insurance companies do provide coverage for certain insurable events at a certain price. That's what they do for a living.
Now, the Obama Administration has, by executive fiat, determined that a private company must give away its services to a class of people it ("The Administration") has determined should get these services.
Going back to our California example, what is to stop the Federal Department of Energy from requiring auto insurers to provide no-cost insurance to anyone driving a car running on electricity, natural gas, or bio-diesel - to promote the use of those vehicles.
For that matter, what's to prevent the U.S. Government from telling GM (which still owes us about $25 billion) they need to provide small, fuel efficient cars to people who cannot otherwise afford them, but live in areas that have limited public transportation?
I don't understand where that authority comes from. But it worries me, very much.
On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A link to the White House position paper on the compromise (I'm not endorsing, I'm merely providing); also links to the definition of "fiat," to the whole AIG thing and to the current list of who still owes us money from TARP.
Also an amusing Mullfoto from Mt. Vernon last Friday and a Catchy Caption of the Day.