Daily Archives: March 26, 2009

Hot Breaking News! New York AG subpoenas AIG on CDS contracts UPDATED

According to reader Steve,  this breaking news is hot – so here’s the story (h/t  Steve).

American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIGNews), which has received $180 billion in U.S. taxpayer money, was subpoenaed on Thursday by New York’s top legal officer for information on its credit default swaps contracts, sources familiar with the matter said.

Details were being sought on the contracts going back seven months, including those that have been wound down by AIG’s Financial Products unit and those that have not, involving billions of dollars, one of the sources said.

A spokesman for AIG declined to comment.

The request stems from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s investigation into $165 million paid to employees at the unit in retention bonuses this month.

On Thursday, Cuomo did not comment on the subpoena, but he said in a statement that “CDS contracts were at the heart of AIG’s meltdown.

The question is whether the contracts are being wound down properly and efficiently or whether they have become a vehicle for funneling billions in taxpayers dollars to capitalize banks all over the world.” Continue reading

Space law, the Disasters Charter and North Dakota flooding!

fargoflood1A chance link to the National Center for Remote Sensing, Air and Space Law introduces SLABBED readers to the Center’s blog Res Cumminis and notice the Disasters Charter has been activated for the flooding in North Dakota.

The International Charter aims at providing a unified system of space data acquisition and delivery to those affected by natural or man-made disasters through Authorized Users. Each member agency has committed resources to support the provisions of the Charter and thus is helping to mitigate the effects of disasters on human life and property.

If you want to see the “activated” Charter act, it’s Editilla to the rescue – this time with a link to make it easy to keep up with what’s happening in North Dakota where you will find links to satellite imagry of the area and anything else you want to know about the flooding in North Dakota. Thanks, Editilla!

Counter-parties, black tie optional – but do you dance with the one that brung you

As we continue to address the issue of the bonuses, we cannot lose sight of another potential abuse of taxpayer funds – the counterparty payments.

Tuesday TPM reported Senator Cummings (MD) was circulating a letter to his colleagues asking them to sign on to his letter requesting an investigation of AIG payments to counter parties.

Further, Goldman Sachs claimed in September that they had no material exposure to AIG; however, after AIG released the counterparty information on March 15, we found out that Goldman Sachs received almost $13 billion in counterparty payments.

This letter proposes that the Special Inspector General examine the nature of the counterparty payments – including the recipients, the process by which they were made whole, and the justification, if any, for that level of payment.

Under intense pressure, AIG finally released a list of transaction counterparties on March 15. These releases showed that the investment banks around the world received billions in taxpayer dollars without apparently being required to take a discount; further, there is little evidence that a concerted strategy guided the payments.

The American people were told that they had to bail out the financial sector because of the great systemic risk from an AIG collapse, and $180 billion later, the people find themselves “involuntary investors.”

Investment in AIG may be necessary, but it deserves the utmost scrutiny and attention. (emphasis added)

TPM’s Zachery Roth stayed with the story and reported more in a follow-up yesterday. Continue reading

The Daily Slab – March 26 UPDATED

sfad1Do you  think they have folks stationed outside the door so they’ll know then the “honeymoon’s over”? Are people  “in bed with the insurance industry” in ways we haven’t imagined?  Maybe I’m just tired; but, this ad struck me as funny – real funny.

North Dakota braces for record flooding; Ice jam in Missouri River blown up (CNN) and ND Mayor “optimistic” after blast to clear ice (Yahoo news). They’re doing all of this in fresh snow!

Flooding poses danger in Mississippi (Clarion Ledger) Think blasting our potholes would work? It’s raining now and expected to continue through Friday.

The state capital of Mississippi boasts down-home charm, a can-do attitude and an array of dynamic businesses. (CNN Money h/t State Street Posts) Continue reading