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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bailout du jour: AIG

Items of Interest:

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New York Times:
Fed in an $85 Billion Rescue of an Insurer Near Failure -- Fearing a financial crisis worldwide, the Federal Reserve reversed course on Tuesday and agreed to an $85 billion bailout that would give the government control of the troubled insurance giant American International Group.

The decision, only two weeks after the Treasury took over the federally chartered mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is the most radical intervention in private business in the central bank’s history.

With time running out after A.I.G. failed to get a bank loan to avoid bankruptcy, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and the Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, convened a meeting with House and Senate leaders on Capitol Hill about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to explain the rescue plan...
Discussion:
Big Tent Democrat / TalkLeft: Systemic Risk And The Extreme Republican Philosophy
Steven G. Brant / The Huffington Post: Capitalism Is Dead. Now What Do We Do?
Kyle E. Moore / Comments from Left Field: Another One Goes Under
David Wessel / Real Time Economics: Fed Invokes ‘Unusual and Exigent’ Clause — Again
Tami Luhby / CNNMoney.com: Fed in AIG rescue - $85B loan
Mark Adams / American Street: Can We Nationalize Exxon And Health Care Too?
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias: The Commanding Heights
Elrod / The Moderate Voice: Fed bails out AIG with $85 billion loan
Jeff Fecke / Alas, a blog: Fed Set to Nationalize AIG
Paul Campos / Lawyers, Guns and Money: Masters of the Universe to the Rescue
Ron Beasley / Newshoggers.com: Laissez-faire leads to nationalization
Barry Ritholtz / The Big Picture: AIG Bailout: $85B in Loans, 80% AIG Taxpayer Owned
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Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Plans Rescue of AIG to Halt Crisis; Central Banks Inject Cash …
Discussion:
David Jackson / USA Today: McCain, Obama eye Wall Street
Phil Izzo / Real Time Economics: Fed's AIG Deal: Here There Be Dragons
Greg Bobrinskoy / Real Clear Politics: The Morning Report
Felix Salmon / Portfolio: Why Bail Out AIG's Bondholders?

Michelle Malkin:
Mother of all bailouts: $85 billion to AIG
Discussion:
Walter Alarkon / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room: RedState — The 15 Republican House members who voted …
Sean Hackbarth / The American Mind: UNITED STATES TAKES OVER AIG
Megan McArdle: The Fed bails out AIG
Edmund L. Andrews / International Herald Tribune:
Fed rescues AIG with $85 billion loan for 80% stake
Discussion:
Bill Anderson / LewRockwell.com Blog: The Big Lie Continues
Reuters: AIG rescued by Fed, Barclays buys Lehman U.S. unit
Bess Levin / Dealbreaker:
Fed [May] Does Offer Bridge Loan To AIG
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USA Today:
Reserve Primary money market fund breaks a buck -- If you want to know how severe the financial industry crisis is, here's further proof: The share price of the Reserve Primary fund, a money market mutual fund, has fallen below the sacred $1 mark, thanks to the Lehman Bros. meltdown.

Money market funds have been the fund industry's haven for more than three decades, and investors often view them the same way they do bank checking accounts. The funds' safety record has attracted more than $3.5 trillion in assets.

Until now, no money fund open to the general public has ever allowed its share price to dip below a dollar — "breaking the buck," as it's called. (A small institutional money fund, Community Bankers Money fund, broke the buck in 1994.)

Money market funds have long feared that if they broke the buck, thereby shrinking investors' principal, people would shift their money into bank money market accounts or ultrasafe Treasury securities. The question now is whether other money funds will follow the Reserve fund in dipping below $1.

The $64.8 billion fund held $785 million in short-term IOUs, called commercial paper, issued by Lehman Bros., which filed for bankruptcy protection Monday...
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