AIG sold banks and other investors CDS protection on $441 billion of fixed-income assets, including $57.8 billion in subprime-mortgage related securities. There are likely very few firms with this much exposure into the CDS market
My snarky comment in the prior post notwithstanding, the folks at the Treasury have to their credit not directly bailed out either Lehman or AIG. (They have stepped up the indirect bailouts, however: the Fed will now be lending more money to more people with more questionable collateral, and word is that they may also cut rates again today.)
But while they are finally turning some pigs away from the trough, the government’s frantic interventions to date suggest that they will not sit idly by as things get really out of hand. We shall see.
I haven’t gone into much detail on this week’s drama because for the most part I’d be rehashing what’s already been, uhm, hashed many times over. All the mainstream outlets are covering the issue, but for good up-to-the-minute updates and commentary I’ve been enjoying the coverage at the blog Naked Capitalism.
(written for voiceofsandiego.org)