Wealth Management

Voted #6 on Top 100 Family Business influencer on Wealth, Legacy, Finance and Investments: Jacoline Loewen LinkedIn Profile

March 22, 2009

Private equity would be better for AIG

I talk a great deal about the difference in the psychology of investing, in my book Money Magnet. But if you want to see some real life examples of people's behaviour when they invest other people's money, not their own, then take a seat to learn from the drama of AIG. Watch the US government and their tax payers' treatment of one of their "investments" - AIG.
Now the American government and many of their nation's tax payers believe they have "given" money to AIG. This delusion is understandable but in fact, the US government has bought shares in AIG making tax payers one of the biggest investors. They hold shares in what was a very successful company. Now they are destroying wealth by braying for blood. Who will want to work at AIG in the next few years - only dolts. There goes AIG to the garbage heap and tax payers will not earn back a cent of profit. Joe Nocero at The New York Times explains why tax payers and government need to understand their position as an investment partner in the business.
In other words, it is in the taxpayers’ best interest to position A.I.G. as a company with many profitable units, worth potentially billions, and one bad unit that needs to be unwound. Which, by the way, is the truth. But as Mr. Ely puts it, “the indiscriminate pounding that A.I.G. is taking is destroying the value of the company.” Potential buyers are wary. Customers are going elsewhere. Employees are looking to leave. Treating all of A.I.G. like Public Enemy No. 1 is a pretty dumb way for a majority shareholder to act when he hopes to sell the company for top dollar.

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