Who Was Made Well and Who Was Left to Swing?
Who got de dough? Seventy-five thousand million dollars of your and my personal contribution went to "trading partners of AIG Financial Products, the small subsidiary whose exotic derivatives brought AIG to the edge of collapse."
But AIG's total exposure is 30 times that much--nearly a $trillion and a half. Which insiders, do you suppose, were best able to belly up to the bar? Read on . . .
AIG Discloses $75 Billion in Bailout Payments
Insurer Reveals List of Taxpayer Funds Doled Out to Settle Debts With Companies, Municipalities
By Brady Dennis
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 16, 2009; A01
In the six months since the government's bailout of insurance giant American International Group, a rescue that has become increasingly costly and contentious, one question has loomed above all others: Where did the money go?
The answer became a little clearer yesterday when AIG unexpectedly released the names of dozens of trading partners it has paid using billions in taxpayer dollars. The disclosure, which the company said was made after consulting the Federal Reserve, revealed that AIG paid more than $75 billion in the final months of 2008 to numerous domestic and foreign banks, as well as to various U.S. municipalities.
The funds were paid from the government's initial $85 billion emergency loan in September and included major firms such as Goldman Sachs, Societe Generale, Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Barclays.
The payments were made between Sept. 16 -- the date that government assistance began -- and Dec. 31.
AIG shines a whole new light on who will serve and who will eat in this newly manufactured financial society. Unsurprisingly, Henry Paulson's old firm, Goldman Sachs sat at the head of the table, wiping its chin with other people's money.
Bank of America got a plateful and (through their acquisition of Merrill Lynch) went back for a second helping.
105 days spent shucking financial oysters and the guys behind the bar must be dead tired. That's nearly a half-million dollars a minute, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even God got a day off, but not these shuckers.
"There are a lot of terrible things that have happened in the last 18 months, but what's happened at AIG is the most outrageous," Lawrence H. Summers, chairman of the White House National Economic Council, said yesterday during an appearance on ABC's "This Week." "What that company did, the way it was not regulated, the way no one was watching, what's proved necessary, it is outrageous."
Summers has been quoted elsewhere as saying we are a country of laws, which indeed we pride ourselves as being. But that's somewhat subjective and there are times when we as a nation rise above the law. Rising above our petty differences is a good thing. Rising above the law is not.
A staple of that law we so revere and to which we pay homage, depends upon those in the game recusing themselves from cases in which they have an interest. An interest might include being a friend of the defendant, making a buck from one or both of the litigants, having done business with either the prosecution or defense--you know the kind of thing, from jury duty or watching Boston Legal.
Yeah, Larry. The way no one is still watching, yourself included, is setting itself up as next year's outrage.
Another dozen oysters? You want hot sauce with that?