In Wilton, Connecticut, a bucolic town an hour’s drive from Manhattan, there is nowhere for AIG’s derivatives whiz kids to run, but neither is there a need to hide.
Even as questions of who is benefiting from AIG’s billions of bailout dollars stir resentment on Wall Street, people in Wilton — where AIG Financial Products, the unit that built highly complex trading instruments that eventually gutted the insurer, is based — aren’t throwing any brickbats.
People who live in the area said they have very little interaction with the dozens of businesses based in Connecticut’s dollar-dripping “Gold Coast,” dotted with golf courses and 10,000 square-foot homes.
Even local politicians didn’t have much to say about AIG-FP. “Ordinarily, I would be happy to answer your questions, but in this case I really have no knowledge of the company other than it is there,” said John Kalamarides, the local Democratic Town Committee chairman.
Michael Tucker, a professor of finance at the nearby Fairfield University, said the university’s business school engages with hedge funds and other financial institutions (in southwestern Connecticut, they’re a dime a dozen) from time to time, but recalled interactions with AIG Financial Products as being minimal.