Peters’ Profits

Michigan Dem slammed AIG while investing heavily in bailed out firm

Gary Peters
Gary Peters / AP
August 18, 2014

Gary Peters profited from an investment in bailed-out AIG, a firm he criticized for its bonuses during the recession.

The Michigan Democrat's financial disclosure forms from 2009 to 2013 show that Peters held American International Group (AIG) bonds valued between $15,001 and $50,000 through a retirement account. He reported earning between $1,001 and $2,500 in profit on the bonds in three of the four disclosures.

Peters is heavily invested in the stock market and an active trader whose investments have made him a millionaire.

Peters singled out AIG for causing the 2008 financial crisis, but his rhetoric did not stop him from cashing in.

Peters, then a first-term congressman, earned national media attention for his 2009 legislation to strip employees at AIG and other bailout recipients of their bonuses via 90 percent tax rates. Taxpayers gave AIG more than $85 billion to prevent the insurer from collapsing under the weight of the failed housing market.

"Million-dollar bonuses for the very people who drove our economy into the ditch are simply unacceptable," Peters said in a 2009 press release. "When reports of AIG’s bonuses broke this week, many said there was nothing we could do because AIG was contractually obligated to pay the rewards. I rejected that notion and am grateful to my colleagues who worked with me to quickly develop a plan to put a stop to these egregious bonuses."

He highlighted his fight against AIG and other bailout bonuses as a centerpiece of his Senate candidacy in May 2013.

"I’ve always believed that the things middle class families struggle with around their kitchen tables should define my work in Washington," he said. "That’s why I led the fight to increase lending to small businesses, make sure women receive equal pay for equal work, and held Wall Street accountable when they took their taxpayer-funded bailouts and paid themselves bonuses."

The Peters campaign did not return request for comment.

Published under: Gary Peters