We’ve already likened AIG to a money black hole — you throw the cash in there and it disappears for good, never to be seen or heard from again. The NYT tries to figure out where, exactly, all that cash is going, but the fact that they can’t come to any sort of definitive answer is telling
“You don’t just suddenly lose $120 billion overnight,” said Donn Vickrey of Gradient Analytics, an independent securities research firm in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Mr. Vickrey says he believes A.I.G. must have already accumulated tens of billions of dollars worth of losses by mid-September, when it came close to collapse and received an $85 billion emergency line of credit by the Fed. That loan was later supplemented by a $38 billion lending facility.
Seems like a pretty good theory. We may get a more definitive answer next week:
A.I.G. has declined to provide a detailed account of how it has used the Fed’s money. The company said it could not provide more information ahead of its quarterly report, expected next week, the first under new management. The Fed releases a weekly figure, most recently showing that $90 billion of the $123 billion available has been drawn down.
A.I.G. has outlined only broad categories: some is being used to shore up its securities-lending program, some to make good on its guaranteed investment contracts, some to pay for day-to-day operations and — of perhaps greatest interest to watchdogs — tens of billions of dollars to post collateral with other financial institutions, as required by A.I.G.’s many derivatives contracts.
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