Nobody is going to give it back and then stay,” said one of the firm’s employees. “If they give back the money, then they will walk. And they will walk into the arms of AIG’s counterparties.
As Josh at TPM writes:
What is so damaging about this isn’t the money — which is almost trivially small compared to the many hundreds of billions we’ve already committed. The problem is what appears to be the president’s mortifying impotence in the face of bankers and financiers who created the problem.
As I noted two days ago, Barclays in England successfully stopped the Guardian from continuing to publish (on their site) internal Barclay’s memoranda on huge tax avoidance schemes read here
It appears that the immense wealth of these institutions combined with their centrality in maintaining the world’s financial system give them an ability presently to leverage whatever the hell they desire with almost zero accountability. And there appears to be no countervailing institutions which might police them.
Update: I should have noted it earlier…Barclays is one of the institutions which is receiving US dollars (via the AIG bailout and perhaps other funding streams as well)