RM Article On AIG Gift To Banks

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by AAAintheBeltway, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. See http://www.thestreet.com/p/_commentary/rmoney/marketcommentary/10484539.html

    It's hard to believe someone this dumb actually worked for GS. He writes this long article, or GS's PR department wrote it for him, and claims it proves that AIG's extraordinary payout to banks courtesy of the US taxpayer was not a gift to the banks. In fact, he ends up proving the very opposite.

    His main point is that a contract is a contract and they can't be broken. He also strains to argue that CDS holders were entitled to get paid at par for their AIG exposure.

    Both points fail for the simple reason that AIG was bankrupt without the taxpayers' intervention. The banks, including GS, were looking at massive counterparty losses. A contract is most certainly not a contract in bankruptcy. It is a claim, and can be liquidated at well less than par. The Treasury pissed away billions of dollars with AIG, using the firm as a backdoor conduit to subsidize favored banks. Many have argued that the surprising results announced by banks for Q1 were the direct result of windfall profits on the AIG unwinding. Rather than simply opening the U. S. Treasury to banks holding AIG paper, Treasury should have negotiated serious haircuts in exchange for relieving them from a portion of their counterparty risk. Or let AIG go through bankruptcy. Instead, it used the cover of "rescuing" an insurance company to deliver a massive backdoor payoff to banks.

    This RealMoney article did nothing to change my opinion, but it did severely erode whatever credibility RM or the author might have going forward.
  2. Non-AIG companies paid up to Merrill and Citi - but with a haircut, not 100 cents on the dollar.

    After all the talk about not wanting to "pick winners and losers", they obviously were trying to pick winners.

    There is no justification for the disparity in the payouts and a good part of the $ needs to be returned.
  3. timcar


    Outstanding observation made by Triple AAA. When is a contract not a contract when one party has no money in the bank to honor it.

    This AIG situation goes to show how people use the government’s money for their own personal interest.

    I do not know which is more amazing:

    1. Counterparties from AIG get paid back 100%

    2. Those crazy AIG derivatives traders thinking they should get a bonus.