News from Washington Post:

NEW YORK — American International Group, the insurance company that was bailed out by the government in 2008, reported a $ 19.8 billion profit in the fourth quarter of last year, nearly all of it due to a tax-related accounting gain.

In the same period a year earlier, the company earned $ 11.2 billion. Excluding the accounting adjustment, AIG had operating earnings of $ 1.6 billion, compared to an operating loss of $ 2.2 billion a year ago.

The company also earned $ 17.8 billion for 2011, its second straight year of profits. And that, CEO Robert Benmosche said in a statement, was something that AIG’s skeptics would have thought “inconceivable” a couple of years ago. The insurance giant teetered near collapse in 2008 before being taken over by the federal government. The government still owns about 76 percent of AIG.

Despite the two years of profitability, AIG’s recent financial results have been inconsistent. Over the past two years, only half of its quarterly reporting periods have been profitable.

Benmosche is trying to refocus AIG on pro……….. continues on Washington Post.

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