Oct 28, 2009

friends in high places

Probably the most egregious example that Obama's picks for dealing with this financial crisis are all in cahoots with Wall Street,

New York Fed’s Secret Choice to Pay for Swaps Hits Taxpayers

To summarize: Before AIG went kaput, the CFO for the financial products division was trying to get banks that had bought credit default swaps from AIG to accept 40 cents on the dollar. Rephrased, Banks like Goldman Sachs bought insurance policies from AIG that were being called. Since AIG could not possibly pay for all of these policies it was seeing if they could negotiate smaller payouts. Goldman already realized AIG couldn't pay and had written down these assets. After troubles at AIG became apparent, Geithner and the Fed took over negotiations. How well did they negotiate?
“After less than a week of private negotiations with the banks, the New York Fed instructed AIG to pay them par, or 100 cents on the dollar.”
Unbelievable! To sum up the reality in one person's words,
“There’s no way they should have paid at par,” she says. “AIG was basically bankrupt.”
Even more galling is that people in the Fed, like the chairman of the NY Fed, took advantage of this to purchased Goldman Sach stock. He netted himself about $5.4m in profits.

You can't make this stuff up.

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