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Taxpayers will profit on AIG bailout: Benmosche


NEW YORK (Reuters)—AIG expects American taxpayers to end up with a profit of $5 billion to $10 billion on the company's 2008 rescue when all is said and done, the chief executive of the bailed-out insurer said Monday.

The U.S. government saved American International Group Inc. from bankruptcy in September 2008 with a bailout that ultimately totaled $182 billion. Earlier this month, the company finished paying off the government's preferred interest in some of its assets.

In an interview on CNBC, AIG CEO Robert Benmosche said the company now has an "awful lot of capacity" to buy back stock and that he assumes most of those buybacks will come from the U.S. Treasury's 70% stake in the company.

Treasury has been steadily reducing its position in the insurer, whose shares have recently recovered to trade above the government's $28.73 break-even point.

Mr. Benmosche also told CNBC's Jim Cramer his cancer treatments were going well and that he was in no hurry to retire. At one time he had been expected to retire this summer, though in recent months he has indicated a desire to stay on indefinitely.