THE BASIS POINT

AIG’s Biggest Counterparties, Next Wave of Hysteria?

 

AIG Counterparty Payments (c) EconomistWe’ve already discussed why the last big wave of hysteria about AIG and resulting 90% bonus tax is deadly for big banks, now here’s the next hysteria wave says The Economist:

Shocking though the bonuses have been, they pale in comparison with the $49.5 billion of payments that AIG has made to counterparties in its disastrous foray into credit-default swaps—many of them foreign banks (see chart). This was no accident: it was precisely bailing out these trading partners that the government viewed as necessary to avoid a systemic meltdown. Still, the transfers—including almost $13 billion to Goldman Sachs, making it, as one newspaper put it, a “charity case”—are likely to receive more scrutiny as the bonus storm subsides.

 
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