From Douglas McIntyre at BloggingStocks:
AIG (NYSE: AIG) is a sinking ship, at least as far as the stock market is concerned. It posted a loss of close to $8 billion last quarter and said it would have to raise over $12 billion. Not a healthy picture for one of the world’s largest insurance companies.
Now, one of AIG’s key divisions would like to go out on its own. According to The Wall Street Journal, “Officials at powerhouse International Lease Finance Corp. have grown increasingly concerned that the company will be weakened by its parent’s financial woes.” ILFC, as the company is known, is the largest aircraft leasing company in the world. If AIG has a drop in its credit rating, ILFC will find it more difficult, and more expensive, to raise money.
The ILFC raises, once again, the issue of whether financial services firms put together over the last two decades benefit shareholders at all. What does the aircraft leasing business have to do with insurance? Across town in NY, the board at Citigroup (NYSE: C) is probably asking what relationship Smith Barney has to the bank’s international consumer service business.
The more quarterly results that come out from financial giants the clearer it is that some very good operations are trapped inside troubled parents. Why wouldn’t shareholders want a piece of the action by having these businesses spun out? The answer is they do want a piece of the success, and there is no reason they should not get it.