No God's work visible to me but the unbelievable guts to steal taxpayer money at daylight in the 25 billiion dimension.
Excerpt from Zerohedge
Janet Tavakoli Retracts Her Apology To Goldman Sachs, Calls For More Regulation Of The Government Backstopped Hedge Fund
Submitted by Janet Tavakoli of Tavakoli Structured Finance
TSF – Opinion Commentary – November 22, 2009 (see also Apology)
According to SIGTARP1, both the Federal Reserve and Treasury agreed that an AIG failure posed unacceptable risk to the global financial system and the U.S. economy. On March 24, 2009, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before the House Financial Services Committee [P.9]:
[C]onceivably, its failure could have resulted in a 1930’s-style global financial and economic meltdown, with catastrophic implication[s].
From July 2007, AIG’s financial situation deteriorated while so-called “AAA” collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) dropped in value. AIG sold credit default swaps (CDSs) on these CDOs and had to post more collateral, as the prices plummeted.
Goldman Sachs was AIGFP’s (UK-based AIG Financial Products) largest CDS counterparty with around $22.1 billion, or about one-third of the problematic trades. Goldman underwrote some of the CDOs underlying its own CDSs, and also underwrote a large portion of the CDOs against which French banks SocGen, Calyon, Bank of Montreal, and Wachovia bought CDS protection. Goldman provided pricing on these CDOs to SocGen and Calyon. Goldman was a key contributor to AIG’s liquidity strain and the resulting systemic risk. (See “Goldman’s Undisclosed Role in AIG’s Distress”)
By mid September 2008, AIG’s long-term credit rating was downgraded, its stock price plummeted, and AIG couldn’t meet its borrowing needs in the short-term credit markets. According to SIGTARP, “without outside intervention, the company faced bankruptcy, as it simply did not have the cash that was required to provide to AIGFP’s counterparties as collateral.” [P.9] The Federal Reserve Board with Treasury’s encouragement authorized a bailout. 2
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) extended an $85 billion revolving credit facility, so AIG could make its collateral payments to Goldman and some of its CDO buyers. AIG also met other obligations, such as payments under its securities lending programs owed to Goldman and some of its CDO buyers. (See also: “AIG Discloses Counterparties to CDS, GIA, and Securities Lending Transactions.”)
Goldman “Would Have Realized a Loss”
Fed Chairman Bernanke said AIG’s crisis put the world at risk for a global financial meltdown. Goldman purchased little credit default protection3 against an AIG collapse. Even if Goldman escaped a collateral clawback of the billions it held from AIG4, the underlying CDOs posed substantial market value risk (SIGTARP P. 17). As for systemic risk, Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein worried about untold billions in losses. (Too Big to Fail, P. 382.)
On September 16, 2008, as the FRBNY arranged AIG’s $85 billion credit line, Goldman CFO David Viniar said whatever the outcome, he would expect the direct impact of credit exposure to be “immaterial to [Goldman’s] results.” The CDOs’ ($22.1 billion) value was down around $10 billion, and AIG still owed Goldman $2.5 billion in collateral (hedged and partly collateralized by CDSs on AIG). SIGTARP shows the CDOs’ value fell another $2.5 billion in two months, and AIG’s new credit line provided more collateral. The CDOs were losing market value. If AIG had collapsed, the value drop would have been swift and brutal with new protection either unavailable or too expensive, if past CDS market mayhem provided any information. As the Wall Street Journal put it, SIGTARP “throws cold water on [Goldman’s] claim.”
Before September 16, 2008, AIG tried to negotiate a settlement for forty cents on the dollar. Other insurers have negotiated even deeper discounts to settle their CDS contracts on CDOs. The SIGTARP report shows that the FRBNY’s decision to pay 100 cents on the dollar to resolve $13.9 billion (part of Goldman’s $22.1 billion) of credit default swaps by purchasing the underlying CDOs in Maiden Lane III was important to Goldman Sachs. “Goldman Sachs…did not agree to concessions, because it would have realized a loss if it had.” [P.16]
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, then President of FRBNY, is revealed in this New York Times article with apparent Stockholm syndrome rivaled only by Patty Hearst. He seems to echo Goldman’s talking points after discussions with Goldman’s CFO. In the fall of 2008, Henry (“Hank”) Paulson was Treasury Secretary. Paulson was formerly CEO of Goldman Sachs and held that role when Goldman executed its trades with AIG. Stephen Friedman, a former Goldman Sachs co-chairman, was Chairman of FRBNY. Friedman owned shares of Goldman Sachs, and was a member of Goldman’s board, while he held his influential Fed position. He resigned the Fed position in May 2009, but not before purchasing 50,000 shares of Goldman Sachs, when the public was still in the dark about the terms of the bailout.
Goldman’s Turn to Apologize
In light of the SIGTARP report, I withdraw my earlier apology to Goldman. Public commitments to AIG are currently around $182 billion. If you wonder what Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein meant when he said: “[Goldman Sachs] participated in things that were clearly wrong and we have reason to regret and we apologize for them,” think of Goldman’s role in AIG’s crisis, Goldman’s bailout, and Goldman’s ongoing heavy taxpayer subsidies. That way, one of you will be genuinely sorry about it.