"For those who follow bailout sagas, the idea of a Goldman bankers handling AIG’s bailout repayment and being congratulated by a former government official has a certain degree of irony.
One of the biggest scandals coming out of the financial crisis was a $12.9 billion payment AIG made to Goldman Sachs after its bailout in the fall of 2008. The payout was related to credit default swaps that Goldman had purchased from AIG in the years leading up to the crisis, to protect against potential losses on mortgage securities.
As mortgages went belly up in 2007, Goldman began demanding payments from AIG. The two parties had a drawn-out, heated battle about the amount of money Goldman deserved. But when the government took over AIG’s finances, the insurer paid Goldman and more than a dozen other banks 100 cents on the dollar.
Goldman got special scrutiny because it received more than other banks, and because the country was in the midst of a populist backlash against Wall Street. Within four months, Goldman Sachs had become the “vampire squid” – a moniker that stuck – and dozens of conspiracy theories about Goldman being “Government Sachs” took root."