WASHINGTON — The U.S. government could end up pocketing $15.1 billion in profit from the bailout of insurance giant American International Group Inc., according to a new estimate by the Government Accountability Office.
The report came as the Treasury Department on Monday continued to wind down its stake in AIG, announcing that it has agreed to sell $5.8 billion worth of shares to reduce the government's ownership stake to 61%, from 70%.
The sale, which would produce about $750 million more than originally estimated, would reduce the Treasury Department’s investment in AIG to about $31 billion, with the Federal Reserve holding another $9 billion.
The remaining government stake in AIG is down significantly from the $125 billion in taxpayer money pumped into the company to keep it from collapsing in 2008.
Treasury Department officials have said they hope to recover all the bailout money given to AIG. And on Monday, the GAO reported that AIG's improved financial health has brightened the outlook on one of the most unpopular bailouts from the financial crisis.