In 2008, the entire world was on the brink of collapse. The financial markets were frozen. No one was lending. This was not caused by the average middle class American or, for that matter, any average citizen of the world. It was caused by the titans of finance, the people at the top of the entire world's financial structure. They created a house of cards that collapsed.
These are the characters that created unregulated financial structures called Credit Default Swaps that in effect allowed them to insure investments with no collateral backing the insurance. With many investors buying these swaps to make their investments "risk free" when the real investment collapsed (mortgage paper, high risk bonds, etc), there was no money to make the failed investments whole.
AIG was one of the firms participating in this legal "fraud." When investors came calling, AIG was left without the assets to make them whole. There was no entity available to lend them money. Their only choice was bankruptcy.
They came begging to the government and the government invested in AIG and saved the company and its shareholders. The government recently sold enough shares of AIG and has made a profit in the deal. Commercials are starting to appear on TV where AIG is thanking America for "saving" them and attempting to rebuild a positive image.
At the same time, however, AIG is considering suing the government. They are alleging the terms of the deal were unfair. Ex-CEO Hank Greenberg called the Fed a "loan shark."
Could this potential lawsuit be an attempt to recover the profits made by the government for saving the company? Or is this the classic case of privatized profits and socialized losses? It really does not matter. That the titans of finance will meet their undoing if they continue to live in an alternate state of reality.