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Showing posts from November, 2009

Audit: A 'Backdoor Bailout' of AIG's Counterparties?

When the New York Fed renegotiated its original $85 billion deal to bail out AIG last year, it "effectively" transferred tens of billions dollars of cash from the federal government directly into the coffers of the AIG’s counterparties, according to an audit by TARP Inspector General Neil M. Barofsky. The New York Fed pursued a negotiating strategy that failed to get the counterparties to accept anything approaching market value for the toxic assets taken off their books by the deal. This raises the question of whether or not this was a “backdoor bailout” of the counterparties, the audit suggests.

By Robert Stowe England
November 17, 2009

By November 2008 the emergency rescue of the giant insurance company AIG, engineered by the New York Fed two months earlier, was in trouble.

Timothy Geithner, President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, had played a leading role in that rescue, authorized by the Federal Reserve’s Ben Bernanke and then Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, a for…

FDIC's Bair: Bank Bailouts Were 'Not a Good Idea'

The Exchange from the Lehrer News Hours, November, 13, 2009

In an interview with Public Broadcasting System's Paul Solman, FDIC chairman Sheila Bair discusses lessons learned from the financial crisis, and looks back on the federal bailout of institutions deemed "too-big-to-fail," saying, "In retrospect, I think it was not a good idea."

Goldman's 'Starring Role' in AIG's Bankruptcy Drama

Goldman Sachs was a chief potential counterparty beneficiary of AIG's federal bailout after its brush with bankruptcy in September 2008, according to structured finance analyst Janet Tavakoli. Goldman held credit default swaps with AIG against toxic derivatives it had underwritten and held. AIG was exposed to other Goldman-underwritten toxic derivatives held by other counterparties. All this was kept a secret as Goldman successfuly persuaded the Feds to pay 100 cents on the dollar for AIG's contracts, when they were worth far less in the market.

By Robert Stowe England
November 10, 2009

At the time AIG faced collapse in September 2008, the insurer's largest exposure was $20 billion in transaction contracts with Goldman Sachs on mortgage derivatives undewritten by Goldman. This represented one third of AIG's $62 billion in credit derivatives exposure to market pricing risk.

Indeed, AIG's exposure to Goldman Sachs was the key contributor to the systemic risk posed by AI…