By straight investors terms the United States government did profit from the AIG bailout. To say they did not would revolve around deeper and more complicated philisophical and economic questions. Should the bailout have occured in my opinion no but it is somewhat comforting to know the government turned a profit on saving AIG.
The bailout needed to happen, only in the sense that the economy did not need its finances spread to the winds by the loss of AIG. Is it fair that AIG benefited by being bailed out no, Did the government walk away with a win for doing it, no. The bailout prevented a major crash, but it did not put the government into a favorable position among half the american people. Nor did it give them a net profit for bailing out AIG.
This was not an investment by the US government. This was a calculated move of positioning for political purposes. The details of the entire affair are not public; there's no way to even honestly evaluate this as an investment. Frankly, when government gets its hands into private business, there's a good chance those hands are dirty.
The US bailing out AIG was a mistake and far from a success. The amount of the bailout was $182 billion which is a lot. If wondering it was a success or a smart move you should ask where the money came from and how does it affect the US. What the bailout did was dig the country into a bigger debt. Only this time, we put ourselves into debt to help out a company who has made some wrong moves in t past and shown that they do not know what they're doing.