American International Group, the giant insurer Americans love to hate, has reclaimed top spot as a seller of fixed annuities to bank clients. Despite their very bad hangover from the October 2008 markets crash, consumers are again buying annuities, a sure sign they know what’s most important for their currently crimped pocket books. But customers might be surprised to see that the biggest reason the US government stepped into the market (AIG is said to have received bailouts of up to $180 billion), is that AIG stopped putting its name to the policies. Subsequent to the crash, AIG signed such contracts under the names of two of its subsidiaries, as a means of repairing its damaged reputation. With the help of brisk annuity sales, the group may eventually be in a position to pay back its clients, despite the moaning by competitors that taxpayer cash is giving it an unfair advantage as markets recover. Read more: The New York Times
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