09/10/2012 01:07 pm ET Updated Nov 10, 2012

White House On AIG Sale: It Shows A 'Commitment To Recover Taxpayer Money'

(REFILES to add dropped punctuation in headline; Adds details on U.S. investment)

WASHINGTON, Sept 10 (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury's announcement that it is selling $18 billion of shares in American International Group demonstrates a commitment to recover taxpayer money, the White House said on Mon day.

"We have been committed to exiting those investments as quickly as practicable," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a press briefing. "What it does demonstrate is an ongoing commitment to recover taxpayer money.

"It's safe to say the president is pleased with the progress being made as we wind down these investments," he added.

The Treasury Department and Federal Reserve extended a combined $182 billion lifeline to AIG at the peak of the financial crisis, after the insurer became entangled in subprime-mortgage derivatives.

The sale of AIG stock brings the government's stake in the insurer to 20 percent, down from 53 percent. AIG still owes U.S. taxpayers $23.3 billion, according to a tally by ProPublica.  (Reporting by Lisa Lambert, Margaret Chadbourn, Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Sandra Maler and Dan Grebler)