Talk about chutzpah:
WASHINGTON — Even after receiving an emergency loan that gave the government an 80% ownership stake, American International Group Inc. is spending money to lobby states to soften new controls on the mortgage industry.
When the U.S. took control of failing mortgage titans Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it prohibited them from lobbying. But it hasn’t banned the practice at AIG, a huge insurer that is still 20%-owned by public shareholders.
AIG is currently working to ease some provisions in a new federal law establishing strict oversight of mortgage originators, according to state regulators. The law requires that originators be licensed by the states, and that they supply comprehensive information so state regulators can track their activities.
The goal of the new rules is to hold originators accountable if they engage in the sorts of improper or fraudulent lending that ultimately contributed to AIG’s downfall. The law was passed by Congress in July as part of a sweeping housing-industry rescue package.