AIG Under the Gun

Investors, employees and customers continue to sift through news of devastating developments surrounding insurance giant American International Group-better known as AIG. Following yet another quarter of steep losses, the company has accepted an $85 billion government bailout in exchange for a reported 80 percent stake in ownership. Leading up to this development earlier this week, AIG was struggling for its fiscal life, fighting off controlling funding packages from private equity firms offered at as little as one quarter of AIG's current value. Anticipated losses from this month's string of hurricanes and tropical storms contributed to a crisis in confidence with the insurer that led to crippling credit downgrades, but experts say the primary factor was losses from properties secured with subprime mortgages. According to a Wall Street Journal report, one possible element to AIG's survival strategy could be to sell off its International Lease Finance Corp., led by Stephen Udvar-Hazy, after whom the new wing of the Smithsonian Institution Air and Space Museum is named. AIG is deeply involved in aviation-related insurance on several levels.