Merry Christmas, America. Happy Birthday. You are the proud owners of this steaming pile of worthless crap. You can add this one to the many other steaming piles you have acquired in recent months, but don't forget to make lots of room for the steaming piles still to come. Hope you are enjoying your Sunday.

 

American International Group Inc. will receive up to an additional $30 billion in federal assistance as part of the latest revamp of its government bailout, according to people familiar with the matter.

The new funding is intended to support AIG as it absorbs $60 billion in quarterly losses and operational and competitive upheaval. Under the plan, the insurer will repay much of the $40 billion it owes the Federal Reserve loan with equity stakes in two AIG units overseas -- Asia-based American International Assurance Co. and American Life Insurance Co, which operates in 50 countries.

Repayment was originally supposed to be in cash with interest. [...]

The plan reflects the deepening exposure of the U.S. taxpayer to the embattled insurer. The assets AIG is transferring to the government in lieu of cash repayment are difficult to value. A recent auction for AIA, for example, failed to draw any bids. The goal of the original AIG rescue in September was to achieve repayment within two years. The latest version will likely leave the U.S. government entangled with AIG for years to come....

[Deborah Solomon and Liam Pleven, "AIG to Receive Additional $30 Billion in Federal Assistance," Wall Street Journal, March 1, 2009.]

 

AIG is just the tip of the iceberg. We American citizens are gifting trillions of dollars to a fast-growing list of spectacularly failed companies, 30 billion here, 300 billion there, as casually as is humanly imaginable. It's far tougher to win a cupie doll at the carnival than it is for Citi to suck out another 30 or 40 billion before breakfast. Fffftttt, there it goes. Perhaps just not caring at all, perhaps satisfied with the highly dubious explanation that making these companies face their losses would result in further calamities too hideous to contemplate, even though these companies already bankrupted America, we throw trillions of dollars down a black hole. Trillions is the new billions.

Your retirement is sliced and diced, your kids' future hocked; meanwhile, the same people who broke the world continue to live rather nicely, thank you. That's a pretty sweet deal for these guys! When their bets pay off, they keep the winnings. When they bet wrong and lose it all, and then pile bad bets on top of bad bets in fits of desperation and lose unfathomable amounts more than what they started with, we nice folks step in holding giant sacks with dollar signs on the side. They get a do-over. Obviously this is a dream scenario for a gambler, the golden ticket. The Great American Backstop. No banker left behind. Huge bonuses, yes, either way. Heads they win, tails we lose. And may I just add, weeeeeee!!

If we all pitch in, say five or ten thousand or fifty thousand from every last one of us, nothing major, we can shield the 'investment houses' from the pain of their losses. This is necessary, why? Because those losses are really, really big and yucky. Yes. We. Can. What an exciting new economic system this is, if you happen to be on the right side, eh! From here on out, if anybody ever mentions America and capitalism in the same sentence, I'm going to punch them right in the face.

None of this is surprising, except the lack of outrage and pitchfork riots from a nation on the business end of the biggest scam in history.