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AIG Execs Splurged On English Hunting Trip

A handful of top executives from American International Group Inc. spent thousands of dollars during a recent English hunting trip, even as the New York-based insurer asked for an additional $37.8 billion loan from the Federal Reserve.

"This was an annual event for customers of the AIG property casualty insurance companies in the U.K. and Europe, and planned months before the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's loan to AIG," company spokesman Peter Tulupman said Wednesday.

AIG officials declined to say which AIG executives attended the trip, which reports have said racked up an $86,000 tab. News of the trip surfaced just days after AIG received an additional $37.8 billion loan from the Federal Reserve, on top of a previous $85 billion emergency loan granted last month.

The company said last week it would stop "all non-essential conferences, meetings and activities that do not clearly maximize value and service given the current conditions."

Last month, and just days after the U.S. government stepped in to save AIG with a $85 billion taxpayer-funded loan, the company picked up a $440,000 tab for a week-long retreat at a posh California resort for top-performing insurance agents.

Lawmakers investigating AIG's meltdown said they were enraged that executives of AIG's main U.S. life insurance subsidiary spent a lavish amount on the retreat, complete with spa treatments, banquets and golf outings. Last week, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino called the event "despicable."

At that time, AIG issued a statement saying that the "business event" was planned months before the Sept. 16 bailout and that it was held for top-producing independent life insurance agents, not AIG employees. Of the 100 attendees, only 10 worked for the AIG unit hosting the event, it said.

The insurer said Chief Executive Edward Liddy sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson "clarifying the circumstances" of the event. In the letter, Liddy assured Paulson that AIG is "reevaluating the costs of all aspects of our operations in light of the new circumstances in which we are all operating."

The insurer then said it canceled a future California retreat that was to be held later this month.

Regarding the recent hunting trip, "We regret that this event was not canceled," Tulupman said Wednesday.

"AIG's priority is to continue to focus on maximizing the value of our businesses and protecting our policyholders so we can repay the Federal Reserve loan and emerge as a vital, ongoing business," he said.

Shares of AIG fell 37 cents, or 13.2 percent, to $2.43 Wednesday.

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