AIG welcomes U.S. Justice Department decision

CHICAGO Sat May 22, 2010 6:32pm EDT

The logo of American International Group Inc. (AIG) on the outside of their corporate headquarters in New York, November 10, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Segar

The logo of American International Group Inc. (AIG) on the outside of their corporate headquarters in New York, November 10, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar

CHICAGO (Reuters) - American International Group Inc on Saturday praised a Justice Department decision it did not specifically identify, but may relate to published reports that federal prosecutors will not charge company executives over credit default swaps.

"We welcome the Justice Department's decision, and we continue to cooperate with other authorities on their assessment of these events as we focus on strengthening our businesses and repaying American taxpayers," the company said.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the U.S. Department of Justice had decided not to prosecute some AIG executives, concluding a two-year investigation.

The media office of the Justice Department was not available for comment.

AIG Financial Products nearly brought down AIG in September 2008 after writing tens of billions of dollars worth of insurance-like contracts on complex securities-backed mortgages that turned out to be toxic.

The U.S. government stepped in with a $182 billion bailout to avert a bankruptcy filing by AIG and stave off an even worse global financial crisis.

Over the course of the next year, AIG took write-down's of more than $40 billion on the swaps and had to put up billions more in collateral to counterparties.

(Reporting by Jim Marshall; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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