Commissioner: AIG Oklahoma customers safe

Tuesday, September 16th 2008, 11:04 pm
By: News 9

By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahomans are protected from AIG's financial problems, the state's insurance commissioner said Tuesday.

The insurance giant has 44 affiliated companies writing policies in Oklahoma, Commissioner Kim Holland said. Concerns about AIG flared Tuesday as the company teetered on the brink of bankruptcy.

"The insurance companies that are held by the holding companies are solvent and they can pay claim," Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland said. "We also are able to prevent the holding company, the big parent company from reaching in and grabbing any assets that are held by those companies.

The feds agreed just before 8 p.m. Tuesday to loan AIG $85 billion dollars. Policymakers decided the financial markets are too unstable to take another hit after Monday's decline caused by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the sale of Merrill Lynch.

The government bailout came in large part to New York Governor David Patterson. The government took a hard-line against bailing out Lehman brothers, and Patterson was hoping against a similar fate for AIG.

"AIG is different," Patterson said. "They're not an investment back. They'll touch the American consumer more than any of these other activities on Wall Street."

In exchange for the buyout AIG, the government will receive an 80 percent stake in the company.