AIG Plays Ball


Last night I went to the Dodger game, and attached is a photo of an ad AIG has along both the first and third base lines.

Meantime, I'm outside a WaMu branch today. No lines, no panic, and no taxpayer money involved in this bailout.

Good thing, because Chris Whalen of Institutional Risk Analytics expects 110 banks to fail this year with assets totaling $850 billion. He thinks the cost will be $200 billion-$250 billion, but "the FDIC will not run out of money."

Jeff J. reacts to my blog on PETA pushing for breast milk in Ben and Jerry's ice cream:

"After years of eating seaweed and other crap in ice cream, oh, what's another 'ingredient' to make it worse? I understand PETA's sympathies, but following their own logic, don't (human) women also lactate only during / after preggers? So to keep B&J factories running, they have to promote MORE pregnancies just to meet ice cream quotas? (I'll punt on the 'forced impregnation' thingy.) And whither the extra babies?...I'm sticking to sorbet (no milk). The laws of unintended consequences bite again."

Nanette S. starts with PETA and moves onto the bailout:
"PETA should start a black market for breast milk, perhaps that would provide the many women who are challenged to feed their children a viable income. There is no lack of subject matter now for you as 'Funny Business' abounds. Everyone thinks the death of investment bankers is about subprime mortgages, while in fact it is really about 'innovative' banking products sold worldwide of subprime, A, alt-A mortgage securities along with bonds and other assets. I'm pretty upset with CNBC and the spin about that. The $400 trillion derivatives market, CDOs and massive greed with 30:1 bets and debt made this mess...The stock market should not be the sole repository for the decades of savings and work for the very reasons we see today. Those 'free' market capitalists have proven themselves unworthy of trust with our futures or our most important means of building tangible wealth. I won't capitalize them, I even do a vetting process for banks, who owns them before my deposit goes in so I know I'm not funding China's infrastructure, genocide in Darfur or sweat shops in Asia; but rather my own community...After watching CNBC for a very long time, I've had to change the channel for health reasons--it's preventative medicine so I don't have a freaking stroke."

MORE ON JEFF GREENESome of you have written asking how much money Jeff Greene had to put up to get into the subprime bonds he shorted, what his premiums were, etc. Greene didn't want to tell all, but he did say that he had to put up a "notional" amount of what the bonds were worth, about 5%-6%, which was $50 million to $60 million. His premiums were 1.4% above LIBOR, and since his cash was earning LIBOR, he had to pay the extra. He didn't make money when he first got in during 2006. But during 2007 the bonds started to fail and he started to make his windfall. Greene had to work very hard to be able to do these trades on his own, and he says if more investors had done what he did--shorted subprime through default swaps--the spreads would've been wider, meaning mortgage rates would have been higher, and "we wouldn't have gotten into this mess."

    • US Bailout in Chaos, WaMu Is Biggest Bank Failure

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