Goldman Sachs Details Where Bailout Cash Went: $4.3 Billion to European Banks

International banks and financial companies were indirect beneficiaries of the government’s 2008 bailout of American International Group Inc., according to newly released documents.

The documents released by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, contain a list of the 27 banks, hedge funds and financial companies that received 3). $4.3 billion from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.. The money was to reimburse them for losses on investments called credit default swaps that plunged in value during the financial crisis.

Senator Chuck Grassley

The money trail actually began with AIG, which sold the swaps to Goldman. The big investment bank in turn sold them to its customers, including the international banks and financial companies. When AIG received a bailout worth $182.5 billion, it reimbursed Goldman and other banks, which then repaid their customers.

Credit default swaps are essentially contracts that insure against the default of bonds and corporate debt. Sellers of swaps, such as AIG, are obligated to repay customers if the value of the underlying bonds or debt declines.

Much of the federal rescue money for AIG was used to pay its obligations to its Wall Street trading partners on credit default swaps. 1).The biggest beneficiary of the AIG money was Goldman Sachs, who received $12.9 billion.

According to Grassley, the documents show that the five banks or companies ultimately receiving the largest amount of taxpayer money were DZ Bank AG in Germany, which received $1.18 billion; Banco Santander Central Hispano SA of Spain, which received $484 million; Ireland’s Zulma Finance PLC, which received $416 million; Infinity Finance PLC in Britain, which received $277 million; and Britain’s Sierra Finance PLC, which received $223 million.

Another $173 million went to Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corp., which has HSBC operations throughout the U.S.

Goldman had previously disclosed that it had made payments to its customers, but did not say who the recipients were. It gave the information to Grassley after he threatened to subpoena the bank. Grassley released the documents showing the payments late Friday.

The payments have been controversial because of concerns that the banks should have absorbed more losses on their investments rather than be reimbursed with taxpayer money. Last month, a watchdog panel raised new doubts over the likelihood taxpayers will be fully repaid for the government’s bailout of AIG.

Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson - Former Goldman Sachs Chairman & CEO

The government determined that a collapse of AIG would be systemically disastrous,” Goldman Sachs spokesman Lucas van Praag said. “And of course if a systemic problem had ensued, we along with every company in the world would likely have been affected.”

[Yes, and exactly how would have Goldman been affected? Read on …]

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/24/AR2010072401702.html

Remember this story:

Goldman Sachs Made BILLIONS Shorting AIG, March 2009

Goldman Sachs (GS) reiterated its claim this morning that it wouldn’t have lost anything had AIG (AIG) been allowed to fail. Indeed, the bank says, it was fully hedged. Actually, it was far more than that. It was not just fully hedged — Goldman Sachs had positioned itself to profit big-time from the fall of AIG.

Zero Hedge runs the numbers:

In a nutshell – Goldman had bought billions in AIG CDS in the 2004 to 2006 timeframe. Whether this was predicated by their expectation that subprime would blow up, or their very early understanding just how bad things at AIG were, one will never know, especially not the SEC. However, one look at the CDS chart below shows what prevailing levels for AIG’s CDS was in that time frame. As one can see, AIG 5 yr CDS traded in a range of 4 bps to 52.50 bps between October 1, 2004 (only goes back so far) and December 31, 2006. Indicatively 5 yr CDS closed yesterday at a comparable running spread equivalent of 1,942 bps.

Purchasing $10 billion in CDS (roughly in line with what Viniar claims happened) at a hypothetical average price of 25 bps (and  realistically much less than that) and rolling that would imply that at today’s AIG 5 yr CDS price of 1,942 bps, 2). the company made roughly $4.7 billion in profit from shorting AIG alone!

http://www.businessinsider.com/goldman-sachs-made-billions-shorting-aig-2009-3#ixzz0uhk3rigy

 [So let’s review the numbers from above:

Observation 1). AIG makes its largest single payment to Goldman Sachs – $12.9 billion dollars, however,

Observation 2). Goldman has stated that they were fully hedged and would not have lost a penny had AIG failed, in fact, Goldman is reported above, to have made $4.7 billion “shorting” AIG CDS.

Observation 3). Goldman paid out a reported $4.3 billion to European partners who purchased AIG CDS and we, the U.S. Taxpayers, have no idea if Goldman’s partners “shorted” the AIG CDS … making a profit on the CDS investment by following Goldman’s example of “shorting”. It is entirely possible that, like Goldman, these “partners” never lost a dime on their CDS “investments” with AIG, but actually profited from them.

Question 1). Regardless if Goldman’s partners made a dime, where did the remainder of the money go. Goldman received 12.9 billion and then made 4.7 billion shorting the CDS for a “net income” of 17.6 billion. Goldman paid out $4.3 to its “partners” based on the documents obtained by Senator Grassley. 17.6 billion minus 4.3 billion leaves $13.3 billion unaccounted for … $13.3 billion. Was that amount simply a “gift” from U.S. taxpayers? You can dole out some hefty bonuses with $13.3 billion…

 and this story

 Wall St. Helped to Mask Debt Fueling Europe’s Crisis

Wall Street tactics akin to the ones that fostered subprime mortgages in America have worsened the financial crisis shaking Greece and

Former New York Reserve - Current Obama Tresury Secretary Tim Geithner

 undermining the euro by enabling European governments to hide their mounting debts.

As worries over Greece rattle world markets, records and interviews show that with Wall Street’s help, the nation engaged in a decade-long effort to skirt European debt limits. One deal created by Goldman Sachs helped obscure billions in debt from the budget overseers in Brussels.

Even as the crisis was nearing the flashpoint, banks were searching for ways to help Greece forestall the day of reckoning. In early November — three months before Athens became the epicenter of global financial anxiety — a team from Goldman Sachs arrived in the ancient city with a very modern proposition for a government struggling to pay its bills, according to two people who were briefed on the meeting.

The bankers, led by Goldman’s president, Gary D. Cohn, held out a financing instrument that would have pushed debt from Greece’s health care system far into the future, much as when strapped homeowners take out second mortgages to pay off their credit cards.

It had worked before. In 2001, just after Greece was admitted to Europe’s monetary union, Goldman helped the government quietly borrow billions, people familiar with the transaction said. That deal, hidden from public view because it was treated as a currency trade rather than a loan, helped Athens to meet Europe’s deficit rules while continuing to spend beyond its means.

Athens did not pursue the latest Goldman proposal, but with Greece groaning under the weight of its debts and with its richer neighbors vowing to come to its aid, the deals over the last decade are raising questions about Wall Street’s role in the world’s latest financial drama.

As in the American subprime crisis and the implosion of the American International Group, financial derivatives played a role in the run-up of Greek debt. Instruments developed by Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and a wide range of other banks enabled politicians to mask additional borrowing in Greece, Italy and possibly elsewhere.

In dozens of deals across the Continent, banks provided cash upfront in return for government payments in the future, with those liabilities then left off the books. Greece, for example, traded away the rights to airport fees and lottery proceeds in years to come.

Critics say that such deals, because they are not recorded as loans, mislead investors and regulators about the depth of a country’s liabilities.

Some of the Greek deals were named after figures in Greek mythology. One of them, for instance, was called Aeolos, after the god of the winds.

The crisis in Greece poses the most significant challenge yet to Europe’s common currency, the euro, and the Continent’s goal of economic unity. The country is, in the argot of banking, too big to be allowed to fail. Greece owes the world $300 billion, and major banks are on the hook for much of that debt. A default would reverberate around the globe.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke

A spokeswoman for the Greek finance ministry said the government had met with many banks in recent months and had not committed to any bank’s offers. All debt financings “are conducted in an effort of transparency,” she said. Goldman and JPMorgan declined to comment.

While Wall Street’s handiwork in Europe has received little attention on this side of the Atlantic, it has been sharply criticized in Greece and in magazines like Der Spiegel in Germany.

“Politicians want to pass the ball forward, and if a banker can show them a way to pass a problem to the future, they will fall for it,” said Gikas A. Hardouvelis, an economist and former government official who helped write a recent report on Greece’s accounting policies.

Wall Street did not create Europe’s debt problem. But bankers enabled Greece and others to borrow beyond their means, in deals that were perfectly legal. Few rules govern how nations can borrow the money they need for expenses like the military and health care. The market for sovereign debt — the Wall Street term for loans to governments — is as unfettered as it is vast.

“If a government wants to cheat, it can cheat,” said Garry Schinasi, a veteran of the International Monetary Fund’s capital markets surveillance unit, which monitors vulnerability in global capital markets.

Banks eagerly exploited what was, for them, a highly lucrative symbiosis with free-spending governments. While Greece did not take advantage of Goldman’s proposal in November 2009, it had paid the bank about $300 million in fees for arranging the 2001 transaction, according to several bankers familiar with the deal.

Such derivatives, which are not openly documented or disclosed, add to the uncertainty over how deep the troubles go in Greece and which other governments might have used similar off-balance sheet accounting.

The tide of fear is now washing over other economically troubled countries on the periphery of Europe, making it more expensive for Italy, Spain and Portugal to borrow.

For all the benefits of uniting Europe with one currency, the birth of the euro came with an original sin: countries like Italy and Greece entered the monetary union with bigger deficits than the ones permitted under the treaty that created the currency. Rather than raise taxes or reduce spending, however, these governments artificially reduced their deficits with derivatives.

Derivatives do not have to be sinister. The 2001 transaction involved a type of derivative known as a swap. One such instrument, called an interest-rate swap, can help companies and countries cope with swings in their borrowing costs by exchanging fixed-rate payments for floating-rate ones, or vice versa. Another kind, a currency swap, can minimize the impact of volatile foreign exchange rates.

But with the help of JPMorgan, Italy was able to do more than that. Despite persistently high deficits, a 1996 derivative helped bring Italy’s budget into line by swapping currency with JPMorgan at a favorable exchange rate, effectively putting more money in the government’s hands. In return, Italy committed to future payments that were not booked as liabilities.

“Derivatives are a very useful instrument,” said Gustavo Piga, an economics professor who wrote a report for the Council on Foreign Relations on the Italian transaction. “They just become bad if they’re used to window-dress accounts.”

In Greece, the financial wizardry went even further. In what amounted to a garage sale on a national scale, Greek officials essentially mortgaged the country’s airports and highways to raise much-needed money.

Aeolos, a legal entity created in 2001, helped Greece reduce the debt on its balance sheet that year. As part of the deal, Greece got cash upfront in return for pledging future landing fees at the country’s airports. A similar deal in 2000 called Ariadne devoured the revenue that the government collected from its national lottery. Greece, however, classified those transactions as sales, not loans, despite doubts by many critics.

These kinds of deals have been controversial within government circles for years. As far back as 2000, European finance ministers

Senator Chris Dodd

 fiercely debated whether derivative deals used for creative accounting should be disclosed.

The answer was no. But in 2002, accounting disclosure was required for many entities like Aeolos and Ariadne that did not appear on nations’ balance sheets, prompting governments to restate such deals as loans rather than sales.

Still, as recently as 2008, Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency, reported that “in a number of instances, the observed securitization operations seem to have been purportedly designed to achieve a given accounting result, irrespective of the economic merit of the operation.”

While such accounting gimmicks may be beneficial in the short run, over time they can prove disastrous.

George Alogoskoufis, who became Greece’s finance minister in a political party shift after the Goldman deal, criticized the transaction in the Parliament in 2005. The deal, Mr. Alogoskoufis argued, would saddle the government with big payments to Goldman until 2019.

Mr. Alogoskoufis, who stepped down a year ago, said in an e-mail message last week that Goldman later agreed to reconfigure the deal “to restore its good will with the republic.” He said the new design was better for Greece than the old one.

In 2005, Goldman sold the interest rate swap to the National Bank of Greece, the country’s largest bank, according to two people briefed on the transaction.

In 2008, Goldman helped the bank put the swap into a legal entity called Titlos. But the bank retained the bonds that Titlos issued,

Congressman Barney "There is nothing wrong with Fannie or Freddie" Frank

 according to Dealogic, a financial research firm, for use as collateral to borrow even more from the European Central Bank.

Edward Manchester, a senior vice president at the Moody’s credit rating agency, said the deal would ultimately be a money-loser for Greece because of its long-term payment obligations.

Referring to the Titlos swap with the government of Greece, he said: “This swap is always going to be unprofitable for the Greek government.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/14/business/global/14debt.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1

McAuley’s World Comments:

The fraud that Congress just passed, the aptly named Dodd – Frank Bill, or the Financial Reform Act as it is more commonly called, does nothing to prevent or control these types of activities:

1). Fannie and Freddie are not covered or even addressed in the Dodd-Frank Bill. 

2). Sovereign debt is not covered by the Bill either…

So in summary … AIG was bailed out to the tune of $180 billion plus U.S. dollars, all from the American Taxpayer. As the financial crisis unfolded, up until the present day, Obama’s current Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Geithner’s predecessor as Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson (a prior Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs) and current Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke all testified before Congress and the American people that the Financial Bailout was a necessity to prevent a complete collapse of our financial systems… That AIG’s failure would lead to the failure of Goldman Sachs … and Goldman Sach’s failure would lead to… and so on and so on… Only now do we find out that even had AIG failed, Goldman Sachs stood to profit from the failure, that the true beneficiaries of the AIG bailout were European banks and the anonymous purchasers of AIG Credit Default Swaps, purchasers who may have, like Goldman Sachs, completely hedged their investment in the AIG CDS in the first place … American Taxpayers may find out one day that, like TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, a “Program” that never purchased even one “Troubled Asset”, that the true beneficiaries of the “Financial Industry Bailout”, were not the “advertised” beneficiaries at all …  and that, at a minimum, there is at least $13.3 billion dollars given to Goldman Sachs that isn’t accounted for…

 http://www.whorunsgov.com/Profiles/Henry_Paulson

http://www.whorunsgov.com/Profiles/Ben_Bernanke

http://www.whorunsgov.com/Profiles/Timothy_Geithner

Tim Geithner: Too Close to Goldman Sachs to Be Treasury Secretary, Critic Says     01/21/2009  

Tim Geithner apologized for not paying his taxes and some Republicans criticized his involvement in the TARP program at today’s hearing, but Barack Obama’s nominee for Treasury Secretary appears on track for confirmation.

Congress is “all in a panic” and “really clueless” about this all-important member of Obama’s cabinet, says Christopher Whalen, managing director and co-founder of Institutional Risk Analytics. “I’m just not sure Tim Geithner is the guy we should have driving the bus.”

Beyond his tax gaffe, which will mainly serve to politically weaken Obama’s pick, Whalen says Geithner is the wrong many for the job because of his decision-making as President of the New York Fed.

“I believe Tim Geithner only represents part of Wall Street – Goldman Sachs,” he says, suggesting Goldman was the “primary beneficiary of the AIG bailout” and notes Goldman alum Stephen Friedman serves on the board of the NY Fed. (Hank Paulson and Robert Rubin, with whom Geithner had frequent meetings in the past year, are also Goldman alum.)

Whalen further questions the inconsistency of the Fed’s decision to rescue Bear Stearns – in the end, their debt and shareholders got something – while letting Lehman Brothers “go to hell.” 

In the end, Whalen says he’ll fully support Geithner if and when he’s confirmed: “We have to be successful,” he says. “This is not about personality.”

Check out the video embedded in this article.

http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/161374/Tim-Geithner-Too-Close-to-Goldman-Sachs-to-Be-Treasury-Secretary-Critic-Says?tickers=GS,C,BAC,XLF,MS,JPM,%5EDJI 

ALSO SEE: AIG’s Secret Bailout Partners – AIG Bailout Funds Funneled To Secret Partners – Partial List Of Cash Recipients Released : A list obtained by Fortune includes the names of many foreign banks – as well as U.S. giants such as Goldman Sachs. An article that details the “payments” made to foreign banks by AIG directly, payments made in addition to the “indirect payments” made by Goldman Sachs.

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2010/06/30/financial-crisis-inquiry-commission-studies-derivatives-is-government-owned-aig-selling-cds/

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2009/03/17/senator-chris-dodds-latest-ethics-investigation-by-the-london-england-times/

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2121215/posts

Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Studies Derivatives – Is Government Owned AIG Selling CDS?

McAuleys World Comments Bolded Blue

WASHINGTON – The complex instruments at the heart of the financial meltdown, and the way two giant companies were wrapped around them and entwined with each other, are being examined by the special panel investigating the origins of the economic crisis.

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission is turning its focus to derivatives at two days of hearings starting Wednesday. On the hot seat will be former executives of American International Group Inc., the insurance conglomerate saved from collapse by a $182 billion taxpayer bailout, and current officials of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the finance powerhouse that has been one of Wall Street’s biggest derivatives dealers.

Traded in an opaque global market valued at around $600 trillion, derivatives have caught a big part of the blame for the financial crisis that ignited in late 2008. The value of derivatives hinges on an underlying investment or commodity — such as currency rates, oil futures or interest rates. The derivative is designed to reduce the risk of loss from the underlying asset.

[This is true, but only part of the story. CDS were also bought and sold on a “naked” basis just like the commodities and foreign Governmental debt the CDS “secured”. Individuals who did not own the underlying investment, whether it be “securitized mortgages”, “currency” or “oil”, simply bought CDS, making a “bet” on which way the “investment” would move in price, they made a “bet” by purchasing a CDS without owning the the underlying investment. 100’s of billions of dollars were bet that the U.S. mortgage market would collapse by individuals who never purchased a single “collateralized” “toxic mortgage”, billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars were used to “pay off” these “bets”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naked_short_selling ] 

After the subprime mortgage bubble burst in 2007, derivatives called credit default swaps, which insured against default of securities tied to the mortgages, collapsed. That brought the downfall of Lehman Brothers and pushed AIG to the brink. New York-based AIG got an initial $85 billion infusion from the government in September 2008.

[AIG eventually received $180 billion in U.S. taxpayer support. There has not been a recent accounting of the total sums paid to AIG.]

Goldman Sachs profited from its bets against the housing market before the crisis, and continued to ring up huge profits after accepting federal bailout money and other government subsidies. The firm’s dealings in another type of derivative, known as collateralized debt obligations, have brought it harsh scrutiny by a Senate panel and in the case of one $2 billion CDO, civil fraud charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A CDO is a pool of securities, tied to mortgages or other types of debt, that Wall Street firms packaged and sold to investors at the height of the housing boom. Buyers of CDOs, mostly banks, pension funds and other big investors, made money off the investments if the underlying debt was paid off. But as U.S. homeowners started falling behind on their mortgages and defaulted in droves in 2007, CDO buyers lost billions.

In early June, the congressionally chartered crisis inquiry panel issued a subpoena for documents from Goldman Sachs, accusing the firm of stonewalling its investigation. Goldman said it had cooperated.

The panel is looking at the relationship between the two financial giants.

“They had very substantial dealings with each other,” commission chairman Phil Angelides said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday.

Much of the federal rescue money for AIG went to meet the company’s obligations to its Wall Street trading partners on credit default swaps. The biggest beneficiary of the AIG money was Goldman, which received $12.9 billion.

Among the executives expected to testify: two former CEOs of AIG, Joseph Cassano and Martin Sullivan; and Gary Cohn, Goldman’s president and chief operating officer.

When AIG posted a loss for the fourth quarter of 2007, it pinned the blame on an $11 billion writedown related to the credit default

Goldman Sachs Center

swaps held by its Financial Products unit. If AIG couldn’t make good on its promise to pay off the contracts, regulators feared the consequences would pose a threat to the whole U.S. financial system.

Cassano left AIG in 2008, shortly after the $11 billion loss was reported.

He was interviewed by the inquiry panel staff for five hours.

“He was at the center of this,” Angelides said Tuesday.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100630/ap_on_bi_ge/us_meltdown_investigation

AIG & The Bailout Of Greece – The Return of Credit Default Swaps (CDS) – Are US Taxpayers “On The Hook” Again?

Please, tell me it isn’t so!

First, in case you missed it, the country of Greece is dead butt broke ….. flat busted.  The BBC has announced that Greece will receive an initial bailout of $146 billion US dollars from various parties, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8656649.stm , while the Euro Zone sets up a $1 trillion US dollar bailout fund. http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/germany-okays-trillion-dollar-euro-zone-bailout-plan/94028/on , http://money.cnn.com/2010/05/10/markets/dollar/?eref=aol .

Reminds me of AIG – really – an intial bailout – with a huge amount of “follow-on” cash a few weeks later. 

The initial cost to US Taxpayers is being estimated at something between $56 billion and $170 billion dollars. The estimates are based on the fact that the IMF or International Monetary Fund, will contribute $284 billion to start and may commit up to $1 trillion dollars. http://money.cnn.com/2010/05/10/markets/dollar/?eref=aol

At present the United States Taxpayer provides $54 billion annually in IMF funds. http://www.house.gov/jec/imf/11-18-03.pdf  The US pays, at a minimum, 17% of the IMF’s debts. 17% of $1 trillion is $170 billion.

Wait, this isn’t the worst of it.

The American Taxpayer maybe assuming the entire national debt of Greece.

Sounds crazy doesn’t it. I hope to heck it is crazy and not true. America simply can’t afford it!

AIG and the Greek Bailout

Enter AIG, the former international insurance giant currently owned by the American Taxpayer, thanks to the US Government and the US Government’s bailout programs.

AIG, American Internation Group, the international insurance giant was ”nationalized” in September 2008 and given an initial infusion of $85 billion in taxpayer cash. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122156561931242905.html

Additional taxpayer cash was provided to AIG and at present the total amount “fronted to AIG” is at least $135 billion taxpapaer dollars.                                                         http://www.propublica.org/ion/bailout/item/how-big-is-aigs-bailout-really707  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122627437470412029.html

The amount “fronted” to AIG may be in excess of $180 million, it is hard to tell because the US taxpayer has not had a recent accounting of how much additional cash has been funnelled to AIG. http://www.propublica.org/ion/bailout/item/how-big-is-aigs-bailout-really-707

AIG used much of the money to pay off French & German banks who had invested in “toxic mortgage securities” or related securities sold by AIG called “Credit Default Swaps” or CDS. http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/03/german_and_fren.html

In the initial payoff, French and German banks received $36 billion in US taxpayer funds, paid through AIG by the Obama Administration. The payout to the French and German banks took place in March 2009 during the first 3 months of the Obama Administration under the direction of Obama Treasury Secretary Geithner. http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/03/german_and_fren.html 

Almost $60 billion dollars of the initial US Taxpayer payout to AIG went to foreign banks. http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/03/german_and_fren.html

You might remember that Neil Barofsky, the Special Inspector General for the $700 billion financial bailout, reported to Congress that the Obama Administration had mismanaged the intial payouts, resulting in billions more than necessary being paid out to foreign and US banks and brokerages. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2009-11/17/content_8984419.htm

The whole issue of paying out US Taxpayer dollars in satisfaction of AIG’s debt was so “mucked up” that current Treasury Secretary Geithner first refused to disclose who got what and when, in the deals. Inspector General Barofsky faulted Secretary Geitner and the Federal Reserve for refusing at first to reveal which banks had received the billions of American taxpayer dollars

Neil Borofsky

 supposedly intended to save AIG. Geithner and the Fed released the banks’ names and the amount of their payoffs only after the American Public demanded greater transparency and the US Congress responded to that demand.   http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2009-11/17/content_8984419.htm                  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/geithner-paulson-defend-182-bln-aig-bailout-2010-01-27

Is AIG at it again?

The international press has reported on how President Obama is pushing for a bailout of Greece’s new Socialist Government. http://www.businessinsider.com/now-obama-is-making-emergency-calls-to-merkel-over-greek-aid-2010-4

Tim Geithner

For years the Socialists in Greece’s Government have fudged the numbers concerning the Greek National Debt. “To keep within the monetary guidelines of the European Union, the government of Greece has been found to have consistently and deliberately misreported, in other words falsified, the country’s official economic statistics.[17][18] In the beginning of 2010, it was discovered that Greece had paid Goldman Sachs and other banks hundreds of millions of dollars in fees (CDS fees or “premiums”)  arranging transactions that hid the actual level of Greek borrowing.[19] The purpose of these deals …. was to enable them to spend beyond their means, while hiding the actual deficit from the EU overseers.[20]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_European_sovereign_debt_crisis

“Speculation in the CDS market began after 4 October 2009, as the Greek Socialists celebrated their election victory. Two weeks later the newly-elected government informed its Euro-partners that the deficit for 2009 was going to lie at 12.7 percent of economic performance (GDP).”  “The new estimate for the budget deficit called onto the stage the first hedge funds, reports a London CDS-dealer working for a large American bank.http://www.eurosavant.com/2010/02/21/cds-just-another-evanescent-bubble/

Speculation in the CDS market? 

Now the Eurpoean Press is reporting that AIG is selling CDS or Credit Default Swaps once again. Only this time, AIG is “insuring” Greece’s debt with the instruments not “toxic mortgage securities”.

In any case, the CDS-wager has gone up because more and more true-believers in the Greek State have come to feel the need to insure their holdings. This rapidly-rising demand for insurance has been set off by the escalation of the debt crisis. But it is past Greek governments that have to answer in the first place for the exhausted budget situation. The higher demand for insolvency protection that has driven up the CDS price follows from the evidently poorer estimation of Greek credit-worthiness.”

Greek banks as insurers
On the other hand, whoever expected Greece’s rescue by Europartner countries would have had to position himself on the CDS market as an insurer, that is, as a seller of payment protection. The take in premiums from insurance protection sold provides increased revenue. But it’s on the seller-side that the weak points of the CDS market become evident. It’s still unclear who has sold insurance protection for Greece. In one study analysts from the major French bank BNP Paribas referred to market-rumors that Greek banks had insured a large sum by CDS. If this is correct, then the payment protection they have provided is worth nothing. Greek banks hold State debt of over 40 billion euros. This corresponds roughly to the entire amount of equity in the Greek credit market. A bankruptcy of the State would lead to a collapse of the banking system.”

“London investment bankers name AIG as a further CDS-seller. That company had to be nationalized during the financial crisis due to its having written insolvency insurance on American mortgages. This debt-load would have led to the collapse of the world’s biggest insurer. Prior to the financial crisis AIG is said to have widely held State credit-risk. If yet-larger insurance positions on Greece exist, then the American government would have a strong interest in preventing that country’s insolvency.”
http://www.eurosavant.com/2010/02/21/cds-just-another-evanescent-bubble/

Read the full article in Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH, the German equivalent of the Wall Street Journal. The original article, in German, can be read here: http://www.faz.net/s/Rub645F7F43865344D198A672E313F3D2C3/Doc~EC22CF3FE26F8487A9B4E8E99B0DA384E~ATpl~Ecommon~Scontent.html

The english translation here: http://www.eurosavant.com/2010/02/21/cds-just-another-evanescent-bubble/ 

What might this mean to the US taxpayer? Well that will depend on several things.

First, Greece’s total National Debt is a bit of a mystery. The Politicans in Greece have been fudging the numbers for so long, that it is hard to accurately estimate the total debt and without knowing the total debt, it is nearly impossible to estimate how much may have been “insured” by purchasing CDS and how much of the CDS business may have passed through AIG. 

Surprisingly similar to the “financial collapse” isn’t it? 

A Greek Debt bubble, insured through AIG with CDS.

What is clear is this, if AIG is selling CDS to “insure” the Greek National Debt, the American people have not been told exactly why this is being done, nor have we been told how much we are on the hook for and who is making a buck off the deal. Two of the “usual suspects” are on the sceen, AIG & Goldman Sachs, two large and powerful players in the international financial scene and Democratic to their cores.   You can bet on one thing, the average Jack or Jill Taxpayer isn’t going to make a dime on these dealings.    

Meanwhile the Greeks Socialists and Anarchists are rioting in the streets over proposed and desperately needed budget cuts and the US is agreeing to bailout Greek workers while US workers run out of unemployment benefits.

Contact Your Congressperson today and insist that they investigate these reports. The US Taxpayer should not be “on the hook” for the Socialist Greek Government’s mismanagement of the Greek economy. Lets put our house in order before we try to prop up foreign Socialists Governments and their failed welfare states. 

Lets practice saying “NO” to California by saying “NO” to Greece first!

http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

Read the March 2009 post on AIG’s collapse here: https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/the-story-behind-aigs-collapse-bad-mortgages-credit-default-swaps-accounting-irregularities/

[Is Goldman Sachs betting that Greece will default on its debt? Is AIG taking the bet? Will the U.S. Taxpayer be the one to “payoff” on the bet? Is the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission even asking these questions? Another “Act” in Washington’s ongoing political theatre. Washington exercising “hindsight”, looking in the rearview mirror and “rehashing” the last crisis over and over, not exercising “oversight” by watching out for and preventing the next crisis before it happens.]

Greek Bailout Failing! Is AIG Selling Credit Default Swaps To Greece? Will American Taxpayers Be “On The Hook” Again?

First: The Financial Bailout of Greece is failing.

The bailout is “failing” by this measurement – Greece has been buying Credit Default Swaps or CDS to “insure” its national debt. The cost for Greece to purchase the “insurance” or CDS is skyrocketing ……..

THE RETURN OF THE CDS – WHY YOU SHOULD BE CONCERNED

Remember, Credit Default Swaps or CDS, were one of the culprits behind the “toxic mortgage scam” that brought down the US economy.

At the behest of their Democratic political masters Fannie and Freddie “provided” mortgages to millions who could not pay. Then Fannie and Freddie sold the “toxic mortgages” as investment securities with the help of the likes of Goldman Sachs. Finally, AIG “insured” the “securities” by selling Credit Default Swaps to back up the worthless mortgages and put the US taxpayer on the hook for paying off the “toxic debt”. While most of the parties made billions – the US taxpayer got stuck with bill. 

Fannie & Freddie Toxic Mortgages Toxic Mortgage Securities 

Credit Default Swaps  Collapse  Bailout

Fast Forward To Greece

Is AIG creating a Greek Debt Bubble – just like the “housing bubble” AIG helped create?

Greece, which is broke, obtained an international “bailout”. More on that “bailout” below.

Greece is purchasing Credit Default Swaps (CDS) to insure its national debt.

If the ‘Greek Bailout” was working – the cost to buy the “insurance” that the CDS provides should be going down …. it is not …. the cost to insure the Greek debt is skyrocketing ….. http://www.businessinsider.com/europe-bailout-fail-2010-5

“Credit-default swaps pay the buyer face value if a borrower fails to meet its obligations, and prices decline as perceptions of creditworthiness improve. A basis point equals $1,000 annually on a contract protecting $10 million of debt.” http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-11/bank-swaps-libor-show-doubts-on-europe-bailout-credit-markets.html

“Soberness is returning quicker than most market participants had expected as investors start to evaluate the long-term consequences of the bailout measures,” Stefan Kolek, a credit strategist at UniCredit SpA in Munich, wrote in a client note. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-11/bank-swaps-libor-show-doubts-on-europe-bailout-credit-markets.html

Credit swaps on Greece dropped 44 basis points to 541, after tumbling 329.5 basis points yesterday, the biggest decline since March 2005, according to CMA. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-11/bank-swaps-libor-show-doubts-on-europe-bailout-credit-markets.html

“Thus markets aren’t quite buying the latest bailout, since they price-in a higher chance of default than just a month ago. Moody’s isn’t buying the bailout either. Which is odd, because theoretically Greece has been just provided a life-line that should at the very least allow it to meet its current outstanding debt obligations. It’s as if markets don’t believe the European bailout fund will actually happen to the full extent as it’s described to.” http://www.businessinsider.com/europe-bailout-fail-2010-5#ixzz0oCde77uo

A Greek Credit Default: AIG – CDS & US Taxpayer Liability

AIG & The Bailout Of Greece – The Return of Credit Default Swaps (CDS) – Are US Taxpayers “On The Hook” Again?

Posted on May 13, 2010 by mcauleysworld | Edit

Please, tell me it isn’t so!

First, in case you missed it, the country of Greece is dead butt broke ….. flat busted.  The BBC has announced that Greece will receive an initial bailout of $146 billion US dollars from various parties, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8656649.stm , while the Euro Zone sets up a $1 trillion US dollar bailout fund. http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/germany-okays-trillion-dollar-euro-zone-bailout-plan/94028/on , http://money.cnn.com/2010/05/10/markets/dollar/?eref=aol .

Reminds me of AIG – really – an intial bailout – with a huge amount of “follow-on” cash a few weeks later. 

The initial cost of the Greek bailout to US Taxpayers is being estimated at something between $56 billion and $170 billion dollars. The estimates are based on the fact that the IMF or International Monetary Fund, will contribute $284 billion to start and may commit up to $1 trillion dollars. http://money.cnn.com/2010/05/10/markets/dollar/?eref=aol

At present the United States Taxpayer provides $54 billion annually in IMF funds. http://www.house.gov/jec/imf/11-18-03.pdf  The US pays, at a minimum, 17% of the IMF’s debts. 17% of $1 trillion is $170 billion.

Wait, this isn’t the worst of it.

The American Taxpayer maybe assuming the entire national debt of Greece.

Sounds crazy doesn’t it. I hope to heck it is crazy and not true. America simply can’t afford it!

AIG and the Greek Bailout

Enter AIG, the former international insurance giant currently owned by the American Taxpayer, thanks to the US Government and the US Government’s bailout programs.

AIG, American Internation Group, the international insurance giant was ”nationalized” in September 2008 and given an initial infusion of $85 billion in taxpayer cash. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122156561931242905.html

Additional taxpayer cash was provided to AIG and at present the total amount “fronted to AIG” is at least $135 billion taxpapaer dollars.                                                         http://www.propublica.org/ion/bailout/item/how-big-is-aigs-bailout-really707  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122627437470412029.html

The amount “fronted” to AIG may be in excess of $180 million, it is hard to tell because the US taxpayer has not had a recent accounting of how much additional cash has been funnelled to AIG. http://www.propublica.org/ion/bailout/item/how-big-is-aigs-bailout-really-707

AIG used much of the money to pay off French & German banks who had invested in “toxic mortgage securities” or related securities sold by AIG called “Credit Default Swaps” or CDS. http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/03/german_and_fren.html

In the initial payoff, French and German banks received $36 billion in US taxpayer funds, paid through AIG by the Obama Administration. The payout to the French and German banks took place in March 2009 during the first 3 months of the Obama Administration under the direction of Obama Treasury Secretary Geithner.  http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/03/german_and_fren.html 

Almost $60 billion dollars of the initial US Taxpayer payout to AIG went to foreign banks. http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/03/german_and_fren.html

You might remember that Neil Barofsky, the Special Inspector General for the $700 billion financial bailout, reported to Congress that the Obama Administration had mismanaged the intial payouts, resulting in billions more than necessary being paid out to foreign and US banks and brokerages. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2009-11/17/content_8984419.htm

The whole issue of paying out US Taxpayer dollars in satisfaction of AIG’s debt was so “mucked up” that current Treasury Secretary Geithner first refused to disclose who got what and when, in the deals. Inspector General Barofsky faulted Secretary Geithner and the Federal Reserve for refusing at first to reveal which banks had received the billions of American taxpayer dollars supposedly intended to save AIG. Geithner and the Fed released the banks’ names and the amount of their payoffs only after the American Public demanded greater transparency and the US Congress responded to that demand.   http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2009-11/17/content_8984419.htm                  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/geithner-paulson-defend-182-bln-aig-bailout-2010-01-27

Is AIG at it again?

The international press has reported on how President Obama is pushing for a bailout of Greece’s new Socialist Government. http://www.businessinsider.com/now-obama-is-making-emergency-calls-to-merkel-over-greek-aid-2010-4

For years the Socialists in Greece’s Government have fudged the numbers concerning the Greek National Debt. “To keep within the monetary guidelines of the European Union, the government of Greece has been found to have consistently and deliberately misreported, in other words falsified, the country’s official economic statistics.[17][18] In the beginning of 2010, it was discovered that Greece had paid Goldman Sachs and other banks hundreds of millions of dollars in fees (CDS fees or “premiums”)  arranging transactions that hid the actual level of Greek borrowing.[19] The purpose of these deals …. was to enable them to spend beyond their means, while hiding the actual deficit from the EU overseers.[20]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_European_sovereign_debt_crisis

“Speculation in the CDS market began after 4 October 2009, as the Greek Socialists celebrated their election victory. Two weeks later the newly-elected government informed its Euro-partners that the deficit for 2009 was going to lie at 12.7 percent of economic performance (GDP).”  “The new estimate for the budget deficit called onto the stage the first hedge funds, reports a London CDS-dealer working for a large American bank.http://www.eurosavant.com/2010/02/21/cds-just-another-evanescent-bubble/

Speculation in the CDS market? 

Now the Eurpoean Press is reporting that AIG is selling CDS or Credit Default Swaps once again. Only this time, AIG is “insuring” Greece’s debt with the instruments not “toxic mortgage securities”.

In any case, the CDS-wager has gone up because more and more true-believers in the Greek State have come to feel the need to insure their holdings. This rapidly-rising demand for insurance has been set off by the escalation of the debt crisis. But it is past Greek governments that have to answer in the first place for the exhausted budget situation. The higher demand for insolvency protection that has driven up the CDS price follows from the evidently poorer estimation of Greek credit-worthiness.”

Greek banks as insurers
On the other hand, whoever expected Greece’s rescue by Europartner countries would have had to position himself on the CDS market as an insurer, that is, as a seller of payment protection. The take in premiums from insurance protection sold provides increased revenue. But it’s on the seller-side that the weak points of the CDS market become evident. It’s still unclear who has sold insurance protection for Greece. In one study analysts from the major French bank BNP Paribas referred to market-rumors that Greek banks had insured a large sum by CDS. If this is correct, then the payment protection they have provided is worth nothing. Greek banks hold State debt of over 40 billion euros. This corresponds roughly to the entire amount of equity in the Greek credit market. A bankruptcy of the State would lead to a collapse of the banking system.”

“London investment bankers name AIG as a further CDS-seller. That company had to be nationalized during the financial crisis due to its having written insolvency insurance on American mortgages. This debt-load would have led to the collapse of the world’s biggest insurer. Prior to the financial crisis AIG is said to have widely held State credit-risk. If yet-larger insurance positions on Greece exist, then the American government would have a strong interest in preventing that country’s insolvency.”
http://www.eurosavant.com/2010/02/21/cds-just-another-evanescent-bubble/

Read the full article in Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH, the German equivalent of the Wall Street Journal. The original article, in German, can be read here: http://www.faz.net/s/Rub645F7F43865344D198A672E313F3D2C3/Doc~EC22CF3FE26F8487A9B4E8E99B0DA384E~ATpl~Ecommon~Scontent.html

The english translation here: http://www.eurosavant.com/2010/02/21/cds-just-another-evanescent-bubble/ 

What might this mean to the US taxpayer? Well that will depend on several things.

First, Greece’s total National Debt is a bit of a mystery. The Politicans in Greece have been fudging the numbers for so long, that it is hard to accurately estimate the total debt and without knowing the total debt, it is nearly impossible to estimate how much may have been “insured” by purchasing CDS and how much of the CDS business may have passed through AIG. 

Surprisingly similar to the “financial collapse” isn’t it? 

A Greek Debt bubble, insured through AIG with CDS.

What is clear is this, if AIG is selling CDS to “insure” the Greek National Debt, the American people have not been told exactly why this is being done, nor have we been told how much we are on the hook for and who is making a buck off the deal. Two of the “usual suspects” are on the sceen, AIG & Goldman Sachs, two large and powerful players in the international financial scene and Democratic to their cores.   You can bet on one thing, the average Jack or Jill Taxpayer isn’t going to make a dime on these dealings.    

Meanwhile the Greeks Socialists and Anarchists are rioting in the streets over proposed and desperately needed budget cuts and the US is agreeing to bailout Greek workers while US workers run out of unemployment benefits.

Contact Your Congressperson today and insist that they investigate these reports. The US Taxpayer should not be “on the hook” for the Socialist Greek Government’s mismanagement of the Greek economy. Lets put our house in order before we try to prop up foreign Socialists Governments and their failed welfare states. 

Lets practice saying “NO” to California by saying “NO” to Greece first!

http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

Revisit the March 2009 post on AIG’s collapse: https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/the-story-behind-aigs-collapse-bad-mortgages-credit-default-swaps-accounting-irregularities/

AIG & The Bailout Of Greece – The Return of Credit Default Swaps (CDS) – Are US Taxpayers “On The Hook” Again?

Please, tell me it isn’t so!

First, in case you missed it, the country of Greece is dead butt broke ….. flat busted.  The BBC has announced that Greece will receive an initial bailout of $146 billion US dollars from various parties, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8656649.stm , while the Euro Zone sets up a $1 trillion US dollar bailout fund. http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/germany-okays-trillion-dollar-euro-zone-bailout-plan/94028/on , http://money.cnn.com/2010/05/10/markets/dollar/?eref=aol .

Reminds me of AIG – really – an intial bailout – with a huge amount of “follow-on” cash a few weeks later. 

The initial cost to US Taxpayers is being estimated at something between $56 billion and $170 billion dollars. The estimates are based on the fact that the IMF or International Monetary Fund, will contribute $284 billion to start and may commit up to $1 trillion dollars. http://money.cnn.com/2010/05/10/markets/dollar/?eref=aol

At present the United States Taxpayer provides $54 billion annually in IMF funds. http://www.house.gov/jec/imf/11-18-03.pdf  The US pays, at a minimum, 17% of the IMF’s debts. 17% of $1 trillion is $170 billion.

Wait, this isn’t the worst of it.

The American Taxpayer maybe assuming the entire national debt of Greece.

Sounds crazy doesn’t it. I hope to heck it is crazy and not true. America simply can’t afford it!

AIG and the Greek Bailout

Enter AIG, the former international insurance giant currently owned by the American Taxpayer, thanks to the US Government and the US Government’s bailout programs.

AIG, American Internation Group, the international insurance giant was ”nationalized” in September 2008 and given an initial infusion of $85 billion in taxpayer cash. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122156561931242905.html

Additional taxpayer cash was provided to AIG and at present the total amount “fronted to AIG” is at least $135 billion taxpapaer dollars.                                                         http://www.propublica.org/ion/bailout/item/how-big-is-aigs-bailout-really707  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122627437470412029.html

The amount “fronted” to AIG may be in excess of $180 million, it is hard to tell because the US taxpayer has not had a recent accounting of how much additional cash has been funnelled to AIG. http://www.propublica.org/ion/bailout/item/how-big-is-aigs-bailout-really-707

AIG used much of the money to pay off French & German banks who had invested in “toxic mortgage securities” or related securities sold by AIG called “Credit Default Swaps” or CDS. http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/03/german_and_fren.html

In the initial payoff, French and German banks received $36 billion in US taxpayer funds, paid through AIG by the Obama Administration. The payout to the French and German banks took place in March 2009 during the first 3 months of the Obama Administration under the direction of Obama Treasury Secretary Geithner.  http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/03/german_and_fren.html 

Almost $60 billion dollars of the initial US Taxpayer payout to AIG went to foreign banks. http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/03/german_and_fren.html

You might remember that Neil Barofsky, the Special Inspector General for the $700 billion financial bailout, reported to Congress that the Obama Administration had mismanaged the intial payouts, resulting in billions more than necessary being paid out to foreign and US banks and brokerages. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2009-11/17/content_8984419.htm

The whole issue of paying out US Taxpayer dollars in satisfaction of AIG’s debt was so “mucked up” that current Treasury Secretary Geithner first refused to disclose who got what and when, in the deals. Inspector General Barofsky faulted Secretary Geitner and the Federal Reserve for refusing at first to reveal which banks had received the billions of American taxpayer dollars supposedly intended to save AIG. Geithner and the Fed released the banks’ names and the amount of their payoffs only after the American Public demanded greater transparency and the US Congress responded to that demand.   http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2009-11/17/content_8984419.htm                  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/geithner-paulson-defend-182-bln-aig-bailout-2010-01-27

Is AIG at it again?

The international press has reported on how President Obama is pushing for a bailout of Greece’s new Socialist Government. http://www.businessinsider.com/now-obama-is-making-emergency-calls-to-merkel-over-greek-aid-2010-4

For years the Socialists in Greece’s Government have fudged the numbers concerning the Greek National Debt. “To keep within the monetary guidelines of the European Union, the government of Greece has been found to have consistently and deliberately misreported, in other words falsified, the country’s official economic statistics.[17][18] In the beginning of 2010, it was discovered that Greece had paid Goldman Sachs and other banks hundreds of millions of dollars in fees (CDS fees or “premiums”)  arranging transactions that hid the actual level of Greek borrowing.[19] The purpose of these deals …. was to enable them to spend beyond their means, while hiding the actual deficit from the EU overseers.[20]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_European_sovereign_debt_crisis

“Speculation in the CDS market began after 4 October 2009, as the Greek Socialists celebrated their election victory. Two weeks later the newly-elected government informed its Euro-partners that the deficit for 2009 was going to lie at 12.7 percent of economic performance (GDP).”  “The new estimate for the budget deficit called onto the stage the first hedge funds, reports a London CDS-dealer working for a large American bank.http://www.eurosavant.com/2010/02/21/cds-just-another-evanescent-bubble/

Speculation in the CDS market? 

Now the Eurpoean Press is reporting that AIG is selling CDS or Credit Default Swaps once again. Only this time, AIG is “insuring” Greece’s debt with the instruments not “toxic mortgage securities”.

In any case, the CDS-wager has gone up because more and more true-believers in the Greek State have come to feel the need to insure their holdings. This rapidly-rising demand for insurance has been set off by the escalation of the debt crisis. But it is past Greek governments that have to answer in the first place for the exhausted budget situation. The higher demand for insolvency protection that has driven up the CDS price follows from the evidently poorer estimation of Greek credit-worthiness.”

Greek banks as insurers
On the other hand, whoever expected Greece’s rescue by Europartner countries would have had to position himself on the CDS market as an insurer, that is, as a seller of payment protection. The take in premiums from insurance protection sold provides increased revenue. But it’s on the seller-side that the weak points of the CDS market become evident. It’s still unclear who has sold insurance protection for Greece. In one study analysts from the major French bank BNP Paribas referred to market-rumors that Greek banks had insured a large sum by CDS. If this is correct, then the payment protection they have provided is worth nothing. Greek banks hold State debt of over 40 billion euros. This corresponds roughly to the entire amount of equity in the Greek credit market. A bankruptcy of the State would lead to a collapse of the banking system.”

“London investment bankers name AIG as a further CDS-seller. That company had to be nationalized during the financial crisis due to its having written insolvency insurance on American mortgages. This debt-load would have led to the collapse of the world’s biggest insurer. Prior to the financial crisis AIG is said to have widely held State credit-risk. If yet-larger insurance positions on Greece exist, then the American government would have a strong interest in preventing that country’s insolvency.”
http://www.eurosavant.com/2010/02/21/cds-just-another-evanescent-bubble/

Read the full article in Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH, the German equivalent of the Wall Street Journal. The original article, in German, can be read here: http://www.faz.net/s/Rub645F7F43865344D198A672E313F3D2C3/Doc~EC22CF3FE26F8487A9B4E8E99B0DA384E~ATpl~Ecommon~Scontent.html

The english translation here: http://www.eurosavant.com/2010/02/21/cds-just-another-evanescent-bubble/ 

What might this mean to the US taxpayer? Well that will depend on several things.

First, Greece’s total National Debt is a bit of a mystery. The Politicans in Greece have been fudging the numbers for so long, that it is hard to accurately estimate the total debt and without knowing the total debt, it is nearly impossible to estimate how much may have been “insured” by purchasing CDS and how much of the CDS business may have passed through AIG. 

Surprisingly similar to the “financial collapse” isn’t it? 

A Greek Debt bubble, insured through AIG with CDS.

What is clear is this, if AIG is selling CDS to “insure” the Greek National Debt, the American people have not been told exactly why this is being done, nor have we been told how much we are on the hook for and who is making a buck off the deal. Two of the “usual suspects” are on the sceen, AIG & Goldman Sachs, two large and powerful players in the international financial scene and Democratic to their cores.   You can bet on one thing, the average Jack or Jill Taxpayer isn’t going to make a dime on these dealings.    

Meanwhile the Greeks Socialists and Anarchists are rioting in the streets over proposed and desperately needed budget cuts and the US is agreeing to bailout Greek workers while US workers run out of unemployment benefits.

Contact Your Congressperson today and insist that they investigate these reports. The US Taxpayer should not be “on the hook” for the Socialist Greek Government’s mismanagement of the Greek economy. Lets put our house in order before we try to prop up foreign Socialists Governments and their failed welfare states. 

Lets practice saying “NO” to California by saying “NO” to Greece first!

http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

Read the March 2009 post on AIG’s collapse here: https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/the-story-behind-aigs-collapse-bad-mortgages-credit-default-swaps-accounting-irregularities/

Hedge Funds – What They Are, The Economic Collapse & How The Funds Are Getting Our Bailout Dollars

While the Polticians distract the American public with the Political theatre in Washington over the $165 Million in AIG bonuses, an even greater travesty, the theft of Billions of Taxpayer dollars, through the bailout program is going unnoticed.

Taxpayer money is being channelled through the AIG Bailout and into the pockets of the Millionaire Hedge Fund Managers that helped create the fraudlent “Real Estate Bubble” that has brought down the US economy. Yes, Hedge Fund Managers like Bernie Madoff and Allen Stanford. Billions.   

Imagine the outrage – if the Public is upset over $165 Million in bonuses – what might happen if Washington had to answer for the Billions being taken out the AIG back door and paid to the Millionaire Hedge Fund operators.

Is this being made possible by simple incompetence? The Government’s continued failure to properly supervise the expenditure of Billions of Taxpayer dollars or is this incomepetence by design – a design that allows the Washington Bureaucrats  ready cover and plenty of opportunity to claim ignorance and shift blame.

BACKGROUND

We all know that the Congress and White House have entered into 4 separate agreements to “bailout” AIG and “recapitalize” the company or replace the money it lost on worthless subprime mortgages and, in addition to the mortgages, money lost on “other products” designed to “repay” AIG’s Client’s or “Trading Partners” for losses they may have sustained on their “bad bets” in the “mortgage marketplace”. Some of these “Client’s” may not have lost any money at all, they may have simppoly “bet” on the collapse of the “housing industry”. That is right …. read on.  

The Congress promised the American people complete transparency in these transactions – even to the extent of placing everything on line, “like a checkbook”, so the entire country could see who was being paid, the what and when.  As we now know this promise was a hollow one. The current Administration’s staffers (Staffers in both the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department) have appeared before Congress and refused to provide information identifying the who, what or where. AIG was equally uncooperative. News organizations, most notable FOX News, had to go to Federal Court and obtain a Court order to obtain what should of been “Public Information”. While the information disclosed so far is alarming, the investigating is far from complete. http://money.cnn.com/2009/03/04/news/aig.transparency.fortune/index.htm

Let me offer a quick primer on the language used in the articles below:

Hedge Fund: A hedge fund is an investment fund open to a limited range of investors that is permitted by regulators to undertake a wider range of activities than other investment funds. Hedge funds are typically open only to a limited range of professional or wealthy investors. This provides them with an exemption in many jurisdictions from regulations governing short selling, derivative contracts, leverage, fee structures and the liquidity of interests in the fund. The net asset value of a hedge fund can run into many billions of dollars, and this will usually be multiplied by leverage. Leverage – in addition to money invested into the fund by investors, a hedge fund will typically borrow money, with certain funds borrowing sums many times greater than the initial investment. If a hedge fund has borrowed $9 for every $1 received from investors, a loss of only 10% of the value of the investments of the hedge fund will wipe out 100% of the value of the investor’s stake in the fund, once the creditors have called in their loans. In September 1998, shortly before its collapse, Long Term Capital Management had $125 billion of assets on a base of $4 billion of investors’ money, a leverage of over 30 times. It also had off-balance sheet positions with a notional value of approximately $1 trillion. Hedge funds are exempt from regulation in the United States. Hedge Funds, first established in 1949. have never been subject to regulation in the US.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedge_fund  .

The most nortorious Hedge Fund Managers in the news today are Bernie Madoff http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/bernard-madoff/3834483/Bernard-Madoff-fraud-Hedge-funds-need-closer-supervision-ex-SEC-boss-says.html 

and Allen Stanford, both of whom are currently under federal indictment. Stanford operated his own set of Hedge Funds and he also was the exclusive sales manager for a Hedge fund operated by the family of Vice President Biden. http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSBNG36866620090224

THE GROWING SCANDAL

AIG Cash May Reach Hedge Fund’s Coffer – Update
3/18/2009

Wednesday, in a new twist to the ongoing saga of beleaguered American International Group, Inc. the Wall Street Journal said that a portion of the billions of dollars paid by the U.S. Government that provided a lifeline to AIG might, in fact, reach the hedge funds that ironically stand to gain by speculating on a fall in the housing market.

The report indicated that back in 2005, hedge funds identified trouble that would brew in the U.S. housing market in the long run. [TROUBLE? As is the fact that providing loans to people who could not repay them was not a sustainable business strategy]  In a bid to encash [make money] the same by going short against securities backed by mortgages to unworthy borrowers, the hedge funds signed up transactions with investment banks. [placed bets that the subprime market would collapse]

For their turn, investment banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Deutsche Bank created and sold complex financial instruments to hedge funds that allowed hedge funds to bet that mortgage defaults would rise. The financial instruments were basically credit default swaps, similar to insurance that pays in the likelihood of a debt default.

Investment banks that sold those credit default swaps to the hedge funds wanted to remain unscathed in the eventuality of a down turn in housing markets. With a laser sharp accuracy, the investment banks were methodical in creating a perfectly legal way to stay in safe heaven.

The German banking major Deutsche’s securities division created a bouquet of offshore investment vehicles known as collateralized debt obligations or CDOs. The word “START” marked the names of those investment mediums, which stood for STAtic ResidenTial CDO. Deutsche neutralized its exposure to the speculation of hedge funds’ by purchasing swaps from START on the same securities its clients were betting against.

As per the Journal’s report, which claims to have reviewed the documents, START held assets from a series of failed lenders namely Bear Stearns, Countrywide Financial and New Century Financial who were part and parcel of the subprime crisis.

New York-based AIG, in 2005, became the scapegoat by offering to take a pie of the mortgage risks held by START. AIG’s derivatives arm consented to pay up to $1 billion under two of the START vehicles, if value of underlying assets deteriorated or the insurer’s own credit rating fell below a certain mark.  [So the Hedge Funds “bet” with the Investment Banks that subprime mortgages would collapse, the Banks “insured” their end of the bet with AIG – AIG lost the bet and now the American taxpayer “pays” AIG, AIG “pays” the Investment Banks and the Investment Banks Pay the Hedge Funds – so that is how the subprime mortgage scam worked – I want to know which Hedge Funds are being rewarded and who owns a piece of the action. Which members of Congress and the Adminstration are cashing in here – at Taxpayer Expense] 

In doing so, AIG was set to gain less than a penny each year for every dollar of protection it sold, or less than $10 million annually on the $1 billion in insurance. [Isn’t this an indication that the “real money” wsa being made in some other fashion?]

A close look at the transaction reveals that AIG was gambling on a strong housing market. When the housing market went downhill, Hedge Funds rang the cash counters of bank who in turn called on AIG for compensation.                             http://www.rttnews.com/Content/BreakingNews.aspx?Node=B1&Id=886860%20&Category=Breaking%20News

As per the reports, AIG paid about $800 million to START after its credit rating was cut. The funds are held in the escrow and will be used to pay off Deutsche’s swap contracts if mortgage defaults if the portfolio rises above a certain level. Deutsche may pass on some of the bucks to the hedge fund clients.

AIG, in case of a recovery in the housing market, is set to receive back the cash it transferred to START. With the assets of START to which AIG provided cover being downgraded to “junk” status from triple-A by Standard & Poor’s, the outcome cannot be predicted. [See the articles below – the possibility of the American Taxpayer being completely repayed by AIG is just about “zero”] 

The report, citing people familiar with the matter, revealed that the mortgage pool “Abacus”, insured by AIG Financial Products, created by Goldman, have common features with START CDOs. [The Hedge Funds placed their bet with Goldman – Goldman “insured the bet, we, the American Taxpayers, lost and we didn’t even get to cut the cards]   

These mortgage pools were also made up of credit-default swaps tied to individual mortgage securities. When the assets value deteriorated, AIG had to post collateral with Goldman. The report anticipates some of this money to reach hedge-fund clients of Goldman.

AIG and the government had paid $5.4 billion to Deutsche and $8.1 billion to Goldman under credit default swap contracts written by the insurer.

AIG had insured many of the assets linked to subprime mortgages. Following the collapse of high-risk mortgages, AIG had to place billions of dollars in collateral, mostly to the banks.

Thus, AIG had to sell its protection on securities backed by physical assets. The company also sold positions almost entirely backed by other financial bets.

The report, quoting a senior investment banker whose firm bought credit protection from the insurer, showed AIG as the single largest ultimate taker of risk in the subprime mortgage CDO space until 2006.

The irony is that the bail out money intended to limit foreclosures and fuel housing market may end up in the hands of those investors who had taken contra positions with respect to the housing prices and mortgage holders. [Individuals who bet on the collapse of the mortgage market or in some cases, individuals who actively undertook activities to promote a collapse in the mortgage market will not only be made whole but will also profit from their reprehensible behavior, all at the expense of the US Taxpayer]  

The report says that it is unclear as to how much government money might eventually flow to hedge-fund investors. The government has committed up to $173.3 billion to bail out AIG. Of that amount, AIG’s housing-related bets have cost U.S. taxpayers some $52 billion, the report suggested. [That number now excceees $125 Billion, with the Treasury and Congress having pledged an additional $75 Billion for a current total of $200 Billion committed to AIG’s bailout]

The hefty losses were the result of AIG moving out of its primary business which is selling standard insurance policies to businesses and individuals. Martin Weiss of Weiss Research, an investment consultant in Jupiter, Florida said, “AIG’s financial-products division went heavily into the business of speculation and its gambling debts are what taxpayers are paying off right now.”

http://www.rttnews.com/Content/BreakingNews.aspx?Node=B1&Id=886860%20&Category=Breaking%20News&pageNum=2674_5367_5480_2

So the money trail looks like this – As yet unidentified Hedge Fund Managers approach what the Government and AIG describe as “AIG Trading partners” – These trading partners, a group composed of other financial firms like Goldman Sachs, Deutsch  Bank, Societe Generale of France and Barclay’s Bank. The Hedge Funds “purchased” certain contracts related to the Hedge Funds Mortgage Business, those contracts were later “sold to” or “insured” by AIG. Specifically, the bailout dollars are traveling from the US taxpayer to the US Government, from the Government to AIG’s trading partners and through those trading partners to the Hedge Fund Managers.

Additional Articles:  Where is the transparency? http://money.cnn.com/2009/03/04/news/aig.transparency.fortune/index.htm , 

 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29728732    “AIG likely won’t be able to pay taxpayers back. Ties to foreign partners siphoning off some of the $170 billion lent to it.  Pressure is mounting on the government to revise its bailout of AIG to ensure that taxpayers are repaid as much as possible of the $170 billion lent to the troubled insurer. Experts warn we shouldn’t expect to get much back. Mark Williams, a former Fed examiner and finance professor at Boston University, said the AIG wind-down inevitably will cost taxpayers money. And he thinks it will take much more money — perhaps an additional $200 billion [$400 Billion Total] — to finish winding down AIG’s financial dealings so its core businesses can be sold off.”No longer can we call it an investment,” he said. “We just have to call it what it is — and that’s sinking money in a hole.” http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29728732/page/2/

NEW YORK, March 15 (Reuters) – American International Group Inc disclosed on Sunday that U.S. and European banks have been among the biggest beneficiaries of the up to $180 billion U.S. taxpayer bailout of the insurer. [Who have, in turn, passed the money on to Hedge Funds]  http://www.reuters.com/article/fundsFundsNews/idUSN1546365820090315

Time to Unravel the Knot of Credit-Default Swaps :  Credit-default swaps are insurancelike contracts that Wall Street created in the early 1990s.  In recent years, these contracts became a haven for speculators who were doing nothing more than betting on whether a debt issuer would survive.  The $150 billion rescue of the American International Group, for example, came about because of swaps the insurer had written on mortgage securities. And the $100 billion taxpayer backstop handed to Bank of America on Jan. 16 had a good bit to do with soured credit-default swaps that the bank inherited when it acquired Merrill Lynch.               http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/business/25gret.html?scp=1&sq=gretchen%20morgenson%20c.d.s.&st=cse                                                                                                     

I don’t support the payment of $165 Million in Bonus or Retention payments, however, I don’t want to dwell on that topic while the Congress shovels money in the front door of AIG to have Hedge Fund Managers sneak it out the back. For every dime of “bonus” paid by AIG the Hedge Funds are getting away with a $100 Bill. I want AIG to drop the dimes – but I also want Congress to ID the guys running of with the hundreds so we can get that money back too and while they are at it – I want Congress to shut that back door and lock it. It’s time to escort AIG to the Bankruptcy Court door steps.    

Contact your Senator and Congress Person and demand that the “true recipients” of the bailout cash be identified. Not one penny more for these Hedge Fund Managers.  http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

The relationship of  $1 Billion Dollars to $1 Million Dollars is the same as a $100 bill to a dime.  Lets not only focus on the dimes while they make off with the hundreds by the fist full.  

By the way – when the Government talks Trillions instead of Billions, it’s the same.  A Billion is a dime to the Trillion being a $100 bill.  The Government acts like it’s spending dimes, but they’ll be collecting our $100 bills.

FUTURE POST: Government “overpays” AIG Trading Partners

AIG was a hedge fund attached to a stable insurer, says Bernanke

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke was widely quoted as criticising AIG in a Senate hearing yesterday. “I think if there’s a single episode in this entire 18 months that has made me more angry, I can’t think of one, than AIG,” he said, according to various press reports. He added that was angry about the way AIG had strayed from its core insurance business and took unmonitored and unnecessary risks through its financial products unit, describing AIG Financial Products as a hedge fund attached to a large and stable insurance company.         http://www.creditflux.com/Structured/2009-03-04/AIG-washedge-fund-attached-tostable-insurer-says-Bernanke

AIG was a hedge fund attached to a stable insurer, says Bernanke

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke was widely quoted as criticising AIG in a Senate hearing yesterday. “I think if there’s a single episode in this entire 18 months that has made me more angry, I can’t think of one, than AIG,” he said, according to various press reports. He added that was angry about the way AIG had strayed from its core insurance business and took unmonitored and unnecessary risks through its financial products unit, describing AIG Financial Products as a hedge fund attached to a large and stable insurance company.  http://www.creditflux.com/Structured/2009-03-04/AIG-washedge-fund-attached-tostable-insurer-says-Bernanke

AIG Bonus Flap – Administration Emails Document Discussions In November 2008

 Treasury officials proposed limiting annual bonuses for all employees of American International Group in November, as they were negotiating the government’s first investment in the troubled firm, according to a document obtained by FOX Business.

In a Nov. 5 e-mail to a Treasury and Federal Reserve officials, an outside attorney working on the transaction wrote, “We indicated that UST (United States Treasury) … wants to put in place a limitation on annual bonuses that assure that (AIG) executives/employees will not be enriched out of TARP funds.”

But the e-mail indicates AIG officials pushed back on the proposal. In a section of the e-mail discussing proposed limits on severance packages for AIG employees, the attorney wrote, “They were slack jawed at the idea of imposing the restriction throughout the entire population, especially worldwide.” AIG proposed that Treasury apply such limits “to a class of partners and senior partners (700).”

At another spot in the e-mail, the attorney said about AIG executives, “They will think about ways to deal with the ‘no enrichment’ point. In this connection they again raised the size of the applicable group and kept coming back to ‘700’ as a meaningful, and possibly workable, group for limitations.”

The e-mail also indicates that in their deliberations, government officials were concerned about the effect of compensation on recruiting and retaining AIG employees.

“We also indicated that all parties understand that the restrictions must be designed so that the business can be operated in a reasonable way, including in terms of recruitment and retention of employees,” the attorney wrote in the e-mail.

A key argument in AIG’s defense of its bonus practices has been that bonuses are needed to recruit and retain key employees.

A Treasury official in the department’s general counsel office, Stephen Albrecht, wrote in response to the attorney’s e-mail, “See below. Looks like AIG has some creative thinking to do, but we’ll need to decide to what extent we’re willing to bend.”

Government officials eventually decided to restrict compensation at AIG to just the top 75 company executives. The Treasury agreed to invest $40 billion into AIG.

Congress is considering legislation to limit bonuses at AIG after the company and Treasury disclosed it paid $165 million in 2008 bonuses last week to 400 employees at the AIG’s financial products unit, the division that nearly put the company into bankruptcy last year because it sold insurance coverage on risky securities held by other financial firms.

The Treasury and Fed have committed more than $170 billion to AIG as it seeks to restructure and sell assets. The latest version of the bailout includes a Treasury commitment to invest another $30 billion in the company. AIG has not tapped the funds yet. Treasury officials say they are negotiating tougher limits on bonuses as a condition for dispensing it.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/finance/exclusive-treasury-officials-proposed-limiting-bonuses-aig/

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