Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Whose your Daddy AIG?

It is now clear that AIG had to be bailed out. The alternative was a meltdown of the world financial system. I still remember Hank Greenberg, with hat in hand on CNBC, telling America that AIG has plenty of assets and just needed some help from the U.S. government---taxpayers (that was the first $85 Billion) . I also remember writing that there was zero chance that AIG would make it. I still believe that to be true.

The government is going to need to keep AIG going for about 20 years before they can dig themselves out of the hole they put themselves in by creating a mountain--a trillion dollars or more--of phony baloney paper. We are learning every day how toxic so called credit derivatives swaps are, and how worthless they are. Nobody can put a price on this paper. On the other hand, it did help enrich management of AIG by creating lots of fee income that turned into bonuses. The underlying assets--little did they care.

So here comes AIG hat in hand for more of the taxpayer's hard earned dollars. This is really the Donald Trump strategy--get your partners in so deep they have no choice but to give you more money. So far they are into our pockets for $150 billion.

It is time for a realistic view of this problem. We--the taxpayers--need to hire some sharp investment bankers to get in there and make the best deal possible for the American public. This plan should include a longer term plan to dismantle AIG and erase it from the face of the earth.

Throwing good money after bad is not going to work and the next thing you know we--the taxpayers--will be broke. It is time to ask--Whose your daddy?

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This is a very good explanation of the situation as it now exists. Follow the link for more.

AIG Seeks to Ease Its Bailout Terms

American International Group Inc. is seeking an overhaul of its $150 billion government bailout package that would substantially reduce the insurer's financial burden, while further exposing U.S. taxpayers to its fortunes, people familiar with the matter say.

Under the plan, the government loan of up to $60 billion at the heart of the bailout would be repaid with a combination of debt, equity, cash and operating businesses, such as stakes in AIG's lucrative Asian life-insurance arms. AIG and the government have been discussing the changes since December and plan to announce them by Monday when the insurer is expected to ...