Nation & World Briefs 12-11-12 Treasury dept.sells remaining shares of AIG

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WASHINGTON -- The Treasury Department said today that it has sold all of its remaining shares of American International Group Inc., moving to wrap up the government's biggest bailout of the 2008 financial crisis.

Treasury said it received $32.50 per share for its 234.2 million remaining shares, which represented a 16 percent ownership stake in the giant insurance company.

With this sale, Treasury said the government has received $22.7 billion more than the $182 billion bailout it provided to support AIG during the height of the financial crisis.

It was the largest government bailout package, including both loans and federal guarantees.

AIG, which is based in New York City, nearly collapsed at the height of the financial crisis. The company suffered massive losses from financial instruments whose value was based on mortgage securities.

AIG became a symbol for excessive risk on Wall Street and a touchstone of public anger. It was criticized by some members of Congress for spending $440,000 on spa treatments for executives only days after it was bailed out and for millions of dollars in bonuses it provided executives.

Killed Navy SEAL was from Pa. A Navy SEAL killed during a weekend rescue mission in Afghanistan was identified by the Pentagon on Monday as Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas D. Checque of Monroeville, Pa. The 28-year-old died of combat-related injuries, the Defense Department said in a statement that gave no further details of the mission. Checque was a member of SEAL Team Six, which freed an American doctor abducted by the Taliban. The same team killed Osama bin Laden last year, but it's unclear whether Checque was involved in the bin Laden mission.

Report sees middle class gains: Nearly two-thirds of the world's population will live in cities by 2030, with most people middle class, connected by technology, protected by advanced health care and linked by countries that work together, perhaps with the United States and China cooperating to lead the way. That's the best case scenario in a report, Global Trends 2030, released Monday by the U.S. government's National Intelligence Council. In the worst case scenarios, rising population leads to conflict over water and food, especially in the Mideast and Africa, and the instability contributes to global economic collapse. The study is the intelligence community's analysis of where current trends will take the world in the next 15 to 20 years, intended to help policymakers plan for the best and worst possible futures to come.

FDA expands approval: The Food and Drug Administration on Monday expanded approval of Johnson & Johnson's prostate cancer pill Zytiga for men with an earlier stage of the disease. The agency says Zytiga is now approved for late-stage prostate cancer patients who have not yet received chemotherapy, based on study results showing it can extend life by up to five months when taken by men in that group. The FDA previously approved the drug in April 2011 for men with prostate cancer who have already taken the chemotherapy drug docetaxel.

Bike, large truck deaths soar: Deaths of bicyclists and occupants of large trucks rose sharply last year even as total traffic fatalities dropped to their lowest level since 1949, federal safety officials said Monday. Bicyclist deaths jumped 8.7 percent and deaths of occupants of large trucks increased 20 percent, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in an analysis of 2011 traffic deaths. Overall traffic fatalities dropped 1.9 percent, to 32,367. The decline came as the number of miles driven by motorists dropped by 1.2 percent.

Crashes raise concern: Over a dozen Pakistani air force planes have crashed in roughly the past 18 months, raising concerns about the health of an aging fleet that officials are struggling to upgrade because of a lack of funds. A significant number of the air force's combat aircraft are nearly half a century old and have been called on in recent years to help the army fight a domestic Taliban insurgency that has killed thousands of people. This has added to the strain on a force that has historically focused on countering the threat from Pakistan's neighbor and archenemy, India. Pakistan has turned to the U.S. and China for help in modernizing its air force, but economic woes have strained the government's budget, even for the country's powerful military. Tension with the U.S. over a host of issues, including the covert raid that killed Osama bin Laden last year, also hasn't helped.

Former fund directors face charges: Eight former mutual fund directors are facing civil charges after they allowed others at the firm to set values for mortgage securities and investors lost roughly $1.5 billion on five funds. The Securities and Exchange Commission said Monday the directors of Morgan Keegan & Co. delegated the duty to fund managers, even though directors are required by law to set values when market prices are not available. The directors failed to make a diligent effort to learn how the values were determined, the SEC said.

Says software update will fix fire problem: Ford will update software on 2013 Escapes and Fusions to stop their engines from overheating, a problem that has caused a small number of fires. Reports of nine fires prompted the automaker to recall more than 89,000 of the SUVS and midsize cars in the U.S. and Canada last month. No injuries were reported and only models with 1.6-liter turbocharged engines were recalled. Ford offered free loaner cars until it figured out what caused the fires.

Last moonwalk 40 years ago: The last moonwalk occurred 40 years ago, performed by Purdue University grad and Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan. Purdue said Cernan holds the distinction of the most recent person to walk on the moon because he was the last person to re-enter the lunar lander 40 years ago today. That concluded the last of three moonwalks with crewmate Harrison Schmitt over three days spent on the moon. The mission collected about 250 pounds of soil samples and moon rocks and took scientific measurements. Cernan graduated from Purdue in 1956 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. He was one of 14 astronauts selected by NASA in 1963 and made three space flights.

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