Paterson Offers Help (But Not a Bailout!) to A.I.G.

David Paterson held a press conference just now in midtown and said the state will allow A.I.G. access to $20 billion of its assets.

Paterson said of A.I.G., “They still remain a financially sound company.” The assets, Paterson said, are not tied to public money, but the action does require state government approval.

(A.I.G. is in something of a freefall at the moment because of fears about its credit rating.)

Paterson also noted that is not a government bailout.

Paterson said the $20 billion would be used by A.I.G. as collateral for future loans, and should help them get financial assistance from the federal government.

Later, referring to other troubled financial companies, Paterson said, “We have no plans to use taxpayers dollars to bail out any of these firms.”

He emphasized again that with A.I.G., “We are not exposing taxpayer money."

“This is a very serious situation,” Paterson said. “What really caused this is a lack of transparency."

He added, “Nobody really understood what was going on.”

In addition, the governor said, the state will help recently laid-off employees in the financial sector access unemployment benefits.

Paterson Offers Help (But Not a Bailout!) to A.I.G.