Mississippi Received $180 Million in AIG Bailout Bucks | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Mississippi Received $180 Million in AIG Bailout Bucks


The AIG office tower in Hong Kong.

Despite Gov. Haley Barbour's objections over taking federal bailout funds, Mississippi was one of six Southern states to receive $100 million or more from the American International Group—AIG—bailout money, according to the Institute for Southern Studies Facing South online magazine.

On March 15, per Facing South, under intense pressure, AIG released documents revealing what it's done with some of the $170 billion it's received in federal infusions. The records show that between September and December 2008, AIG used $94 billion in bailout money to pay off financial counterparties, largely banks it owed money from its losses in credit default swaps and its securities lending business.

In addition, the documents reveal that AIG used bailout money to pay $12.1 billion in Guaranteed Investment Agreements to municipalities -- usually bonds. Six Southern states received $100 million or more from AIG for this purpose -- including Mississippi and Texas, which are led by governors that have publicly decried federal bailout spending.

Mississippi received $180 million, while Texas took in $100 million. The other four states mentioned in the piece in the "top 20 places" are Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky and Florida.

Other big beneficiaries include Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, Wachovia Bank, all entities that also received direct infusions of federal bailout funds, and hedge funds Citadel and Paloma Securities.

Facing South concludes:

Perhaps most disturbing of all: the documents suggest that $84 billion of the taxpayer money AIG has received is unaccounted for.

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