Free from its $182 billion millstone — and damn proud of it — American International Group must now decide whether to chew off the giant hand that kept it fed by joining a $25 billion shareholder lawsuit against the government. According to former CEO Maurice "Hank" Greenberg and his complaint, "The government is not empowered to trample shareholder and property rights even in the midst of a financial emergency." Because of the bailout's "punitive" interest rate, the suit claims the U.S. violated the Fifth Amendment, which protects private property from "public use, without just compensation." On Wednesday, AIG's board will meet to hear both sides and decide if it really wants to be an even bigger bad guy once again.
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