Thursday: AIG to Repay Government; Pakistan Blocks NATO Supply Route
AIG said Thursday it has reached a deal to repay the Federal Reserve Bank of New York billions of dollars it received during the credit crisis. The plan announced Thursday could return a sizable profit to taxpayers.
The New York-based company was one of the hardest hit by the credit crisis and received the largest bailout from the government, worth as much as $180 billion. In return, the government received an 80 percent stake in the company.
“The company and its rescuers in the federal government have been working intently in recent weeks to complete such a plan before the expiration of the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program on Oct. 3, and before the Fed’s bailout loan came due,” reports the New York Times’ Mary Williams Walsh. “The original terms called for A.I.G. to pay back the Fed within two years.”
“Hard to believe now, but before President Bush signed the $700 billion rescue plan into law in October 2008, it passed the House by a 228-205 vote, with 91 Republicans in support, and the Senate by a 74-25 vote, with 32 Republicans….The political fallout from TARP has gotten steadily worse….Yet the economic news about TARP has gotten consistently better. It will cost taxpayers a fraction of that $700 billion, and may end up costing them nothing at all…..The latest good news comes from one of the supervillains of the crisis, the giant insurer AIG.”
Pakistan Blocks NATO Supply Line
Pakistan on Thursday closed an important supply route for NATO troops fighting in Afghanistan after three soldiers were killed in a pair of NATO cross-border helicopter attacks, officials told news organizations.
“Yes, the NATO supplies have been stopped. It has been done locally,” a senior security official told Reuters.
Around 100 NATO vehicles were lined up in a border town, waiting to cross into Afghanistan.
Aircraft from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force initially crossed from Afghanistan into Pakistan briefly while targeting suspected insurgents who were firing on a coalition base from inside Afghanistan, a statement said, according to Reuters. They were then fired on by people in Pakistan, and crossed the border again to target that group.
But Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said “we will have to see whether we are allies or enemies,” according to the BBC.
Multiple investigations into the incident are ongoing.
Updated 12:16 p.m. with verdict
Time to Stock up on Forever Stamps?
The Postal Service oversight commission announced Thursday that it denied a request increase the cost of mailing a letter two pennies to 46 cents.
Chairman Ruth Goldway told reporters the five-member commission’s vote was unanimous, adding that in her view, the requested rate adjustment was not due to the recession, as indicated by Postal Service officials, but rather an attempt to address long-term structural problems, according to the AP.
In July, the Postal Service proposed raising first-class postage as part of a strategy for dealing with a deepening financial crisis. The Postal Service lost $3.8 billion last year and is on track to lose $7 billion this year and next.
Cycling Star Contador Suspended After Drug Test, Blames Bad Meat
The Spanish cyclist, who is fighting to keep his latest title, was provisionally suspended after a World Anti-Doping Agency lab discovered a “very small concentration” of the banned substance clenbuterol in a urine sample from him on July 21 at the Tour, according to a statement from cycling governing body UCI.
“It is a clear case of food contamination,” Contador told a news conference. “I am sad and disappointed but hold my head high.”
He said the beef was brought from Spain to France during a Tour rest day at the request of the team’s cook, who was not satisfied with the meat at the team’s hotel.