Insurance giant American International Group (AIG) says that it has raised nearly $37 billion that will be used to repay the government bailout.
According to The Associated Press, AIG has sold insurance unit American Life Insurance Co. (ALICO) to MetLife for $16.2 billion, which follows last week's $20.51 billion sale of AIA Group Ltd. The New York-based company said the two transactions will be used to further pay off its debt created by the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which supplied the company with up to $180 billion in aid.
"We promised the American taxpayers we would repay them and the initial public offering of AIA last week and the completion of the ALICO transaction move us closer to delivering on our promise," AIG CEO Robert Benmosche said in a statement, quoted by the news provider.
As part of the repayment, the government holds a bigger stake in AIG and will eventually sell common stocks in the company. The Treasury Department said in a Nov. 1 release that it would make a profit if the value of AIG's stock and other investments remains at current prices, according to the news source.
The New York Times recently reported that the bailout program, which was signed by former President George W. Bush in 2008, may end up costing taxpayers less than $50 billion, rather than the $700 billion that had been set aside originally to pay for it. Matthew Yglesias of the Center for American Progress said the bailout is "one of the most unfairly maligned policy initiatives of all time," the news provider reports.