The last U.S. owned stock in AIG sold for $7.6 Billion giving the U.S. a total net profit of $22.7 Billion from the bailout of AIG.
The $182 Billion bailout of AIG was the most shamefully necessary action that had to be taken in 2008 to keep the great recession from becoming another great depression. Even those who understood the necessity of the action were repulsed and angry at having to take it and the critics of the President used it as a poster child for wasteful spending.
Well, it is over. And rather than costing $182 Billion it actually netted a profit of $22.7 Billion. Most of the profit came from the sale of mortgage backed securities, while the rest came from the sale of stock.
The Treasury acquired AIG common stock at a cost of about $47.5 billion, and the department’s profit on the share sales was about $4.1 billion. Most of the total $22.7 billion profit was recorded by the Fed, fueled by gains in mortgage-linked securities assumed in the rescue.In addition to helping prevent economic collapse, another good result from this affair was that it spurred passage of Wall Street reform legislation. But overall everyone is glad it's over and will hopefully never be repeated. (But that's another story.)
The comments suggest the need for a fuller explanation of the AIG Bailout. There is an excellent Forbes article that includes a good breakdown.
Bottom line is "profit" means the amount of return that exceeds the amount invested. The Fed invested $112B in AIG in the form of mortgage backed securities, loans and other items. It sold them for $130B making a profit of $17.7B. The treasury invested $69.8B in AIG stock which it sold for $74.8 B making a profit of $5B. In total, the U.S. invested $182.3B which it sold for $205B making a profit of $22.7B.