AIG repays $6.9 billion more to Treasury

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

American International Group repaid an additional $6.9 billion of its bailout Tuesday, the Treasury Department said.

With that payment, the department said it has now recovered 70 percent of the $411 billion distributed under the crisis-era Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP.

AIG paid Treasury $6.6 billion from the proceeds of its sale of shares in insurer MetLife, which it acquired when it sold its international unit Alico to MetLife last year. AIG paid Treasury an additional $300 million in funds it had retained for expenses related to the Alico deal.

After those payments, Treasury still holds about $11.3 billion in preferred interests in AIG. It also owns about 92 percent of AIG's common stock.

At Tuesday's closing share price, the sale of that stock would generate a profit for taxpayers of about $14.22 billion. Treasury said it expects taxpayers to recover "every dollar" of AIG's bailout, which at one point swelled to $182 billion.

Of the TARP funds outstanding, about 70 percent are concentrated in AIG, finance company Ally Financial and automaker General Motors.

- Reuters


Netflix falls on Warner's Facebook threat

Shares of Netflix, the mail order and online movie-rental service, dropped 5.8 percent in Nasdaq Stock Market trading after Warner Bros. said it will offer films for purchase or rental through Facebook.

Netflix fell $11.95, or 5.8 percent, to close at $195.45.

Time Warner has said Netflix's $7.99-a-month streaming service devalues films and TV shows. The deal announced Tuesday lets the studio reach consumers through Facebook's more than 500 million active users. Users can click a "rent" icon and pay the equivalent of $3 with Facebook Credits. Facebook gets a slice of sales when credits are used.

"The $3 rental appears to preserve the value of content in studios' eyes," Youssef H. Squali, a Jefferies analyst who has a "hold" rating on Netflix, wrote in a research note. Other studios may follow, given Facebook's larger platform and the potential to make money off a la carte rentals, he said.

- Bloomberg News


Senate approves overhaul of patent law

The nation's outmoded patent system, which has forced inventors to wait years and outlast challenges and lawsuits before getting recognition for their products, would be overhauled under a measure passed Tuesday by the Senate. The legislation, which was approved 95 to 5, transforms a system operating under a law passed in 1952. It moves to the House.

- Associated Press

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