AIG: Still Losing Money! : Planet Money Also: Arne Duncan takes a populist tack in the student-loan debate, and the latest on Greece.
NPR logo AIG: Still Losing Money!

AIG: Still Losing Money!

Good morning.

AIG lost $8.9 billion in the fourth quarter of last year. Sure, it sounds bad -- until you compare it to the $61.7 billion the company lost in the fourth quarter of 2008. AIG's main business lines actually turned a small profit in the last three months of 2009. But the company took some big hits to its balance sheet as it paid back part of its bailout, set more money aside to cover its insurance policies, and sold a subsidiary on the cheap. Here's more from Bloomberg.

Still feeling angry about the bailouts? Arne Duncan would like a word with you. In this morning's Washington Post, the education secretary leans on old-school, anti-bank populism to push the Obama administration's plan to change how student loans work. Under the current system, "the banks earn profits on the interest; if students default, taxpayers take the loss, not the banks," he writes. "In other words, working Americans pay while bankers get rich." (Here's a counterpoint from Sallie Mae, which could lose big under the administration's plan.) A student-loan bill passed the House last year, but has been held up in the Senate.

Greece! Greece! Greece! The EU says Greece's austerity plan isn't austere enough, the WSJ reports. The Fed is looking into the whole Goldman-Greece derivatives thing, NPR says. The FT wonders who's actually holding all that Greek debt.