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AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. government said Monday that it is selling its remaining shares of American International Group stock, moving to close the books on the government's biggest bailout during the 2008 financial crisis.

Treasury said it had begun a sale of 234.2 million shares of common stock in a public offering. The government's shares represent a 16-percent ownership stake in the insurance company.

Treasury has already recovered more on its AIG investment that the original $182.3 billion bailout. It was the largest government bailout package, including both loans and federal guarantees.

As of September, Treasury and the Federal Reserve had received $197.4 billion.

AIG, which is based in New York City, nearly collapsed at the height of the financial crisis. The company suffered massive losses from exotic financial instruments whose value was based on mortgage securities.

AIG became a symbol for excessive risk on Wall Street and a touchstone of public anger. It was criticized by some members of Congress for spending $440,000 on spa treatments for executives only days after it was bailed out.

AIG stock closed at $33.36 on Monday, down 77 cents from Friday's close. AIG stock has traded between a low of $22.19 and a high of $37.67 over the past 52 weeks.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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