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AIG won’t join lawsuit against US

Afraid of looking like a world-class ingrate, AIG on Wednesday decided against suing the federal government over the $182 billion bailout that saved the giant insurance company from collapse.

American International Group Inc. was put in the awkward position of having to consider joining a lawsuit brought against Uncle Sam by its former CEO, Maurice “Hank” Greenberg.

The suit claims that the terms of the taxpayer-funded bailout were too onerous. The government received a huge stake in AIG when it bailed the company out at the height of the 2008 financial crisis. AIG has since paid all the money back and notes that the government made a profit of $22.7 billion.

The timing could hardly have been worse for AIG.

The company is in the midst of a “Thank You, America” ad campaign to show its gratitude for being rescued from the brink of collapse.

The prospect of the insurer joining the lawsuit had already triggered outrage. A congressman from Vermont issued a statement telling AIG: “Don’t even think about it.” AIG, which was legally obligated to consider joining the lawsuit, demurred. The company said it would not join Greenberg’s lawsuit and wouldn’t permit Greenberg to pursue his claims in AIG’s name.

Wal-Mart to join gun control meeting

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will join talks at the White House today about gun control and safety.

Vice President Joe Biden is conducting a series of gatherings this week aimed at building a consensus around proposals to curb gun violence following the deadly shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school last month.

The vice president met Wednesday with victims groups and gun-safety organizations. Today, Biden will meet with the National Rifle Association and other gun-owner groups.

Meetings with representatives from the video-game and entertainment industries are also planned.

Wal-Mart said it previously had not planned to attend the meeting.

“We underestimated the expectation to attend the meeting on Thursday in person, so we are sending an appropriate representative to participate,” company spokesman David Tovar said in a statement Wednesday.

Morgan Stanley to cut 1,600 jobs

The investment bank Morgan Stanley plans to cut about 1,600 jobs, nearly 3 percent of its workforce, a person familiar with the bank said Wednesday. The cuts will focus on senior ranks at the bank.

About half of the cuts will be in the U.S. Morgan Stanley’s investment banking unit has been asked to cut about 6 percent of its staff. Back-office functions, including human resources and communications, have also been asked to cut staff. The person familiar with the matter wasn’t authorized to speak on the record and insisted on remaining anonymous.

Wendy’s testing a ‘pretzel burger’

In its latest push to establish itself as a purveyor of premium burgers, Wendy’s is testing a pretzel bun.

The Dublin, Ohio-based chain has started selling a bacon cheeseburger in select locations made with a slightly heartier, pretzel-like bun. A spokesman for Wendy’s declined to confirm the tests or provide any details, such as its price or where it’s being sold.

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