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AIG Was Blindsided by Backlash, Ex-Spokesman Says

Source: NY Times

Posted on 25 Feb 2010

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American International Group (AIG) is now firmly ensconced in the nation's, and probably the world's, mind as an object of scorn, the company that nearly took the global financial system down before its more than $180 billion bailout. Yet the insurance giant was caught largely off guard by the populist backlash that arose, the former chief spokesman said on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg News.

Nicholas Ashooh, who left AIG for Alcoa, said at a forum at his alma mater, Marquette University in Milwaukee, that "the scale and the level of anger was something no one expected."

He later said in an interview, according to Bloomberg: “The story people missed was that $7 billion went to U.S. municipalities. Once you are in the spotlight of the media, the government regulatory agencies and the politicians, it became more difficult.”