The last witness in an eight-week trial over the government's role in AIG's bailout is expected to be called Friday, but a verdict is still months away.
The trial, being heard in federal claims court in Washington, D.C., is a bench trial. Overseen by Judge Thomas Wheeler, it has pitted the government against a high-powered team of lawyers representing former AIG CEO Hank Greenberg and other current and former shareholders of the insurance giant.
The plaintiffs claim the Federal Reserve overstepped its powers by imposing unusually high interest rates on AIG, and taking what became a 92 percent stake in the company as part of a $182 billion bailout of AIG. During the trial, financial luminaries including former Treasury secretaries Hank Paulson and Timothy Geithner, along with former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, were called to testify.
In an opening statement at the trial, a lawyer from the Department of Justice, Kenneth Dintzer, said AIG received assistance only because of the potential global consequences of the company filing for bankruptcy, and that the loan terms made sense given market conditions. "The goal was not to save AIG, it was to save the world from AIG," Dintzer said.