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Treasury sells off its last AIG shares

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department has sold all of its remaining shares of American International Group, moving to wrap up the government’s biggest bailout of the 2008 financial crisis.

On Tuesday, Treasury said that it got $32.50 per share for its 234.2 million remaining shares, which represented a 16 percent ownership stake in the giant insurer.

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With this sale, the government has received $22.7 billion more than the $182 billion bailout it provided to support AIG during the financial crisis.

It was the largest government bailout package, and included both loans and federal guarantees.

AIG, based in New York City, nearly collapsed during the financial crisis.

The company suffered massive losses from financial instruments whose values were based on mortgage securities.

AIG became a symbol for excessive risk on Wall Street and a touchstone of the public’s anger.

It was criticized by some members of Congress for spending $440,000 on spa treatments for executives only days after it was bailed out and for giving millions of dollars in bonuses to its executives.

The proceeds from the final stock sale are expected to total $7.6 billion.

Treasury said that with the stock sale it had realized a positive return of $5 billion, while the Federal Reserve had received a positive return of $17.7 billion.

Treasury conducted six public offerings of AIG stock over 19 months, selling 1.66 billion shares.

At the start of the sales, Treasury owned 92 percent of AIG’s outstanding common stock.

Since the financial crisis, AIG has undergone a restructuring that has cut the size of the company nearly in half and focused it on its core insurance operations.

The AIG stock sale was the latest step in an ongoing effort by the government to wind down the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.

With the AIG stock sales, the government has gotten back $380 billion, or more than 90 percent of the $418 billion in funds it disbursed through TARP.

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