Amsterdam Financial Services Correspondent
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Jan 9, 2013

AIG board meets on possible lawsuit vs. government as public rages

(Editors: Note questionable language in fifth paragraph)

By Ben Berkowitz

(Reuters) – The board of American International Group Inc met on Wednesday to consider a lawsuit against the U.S. government over the terms of the company’s bailout, a discussion directors defended as their responsibility but one that critics condemned as the height of ingratitude.

AIG is weighing whether to join a lawsuit filed by its former chief executive, Hank Greenberg, and his company Starr International, which owned 12 percent of the insurer before its rescue.

Jan 9, 2013

AIG board meets on possible lawsuit vs US gov’t as public rages

Jan 9 (Reuters) – The board of American International Group
Inc met on Wednesday to consider a lawsuit against the
U.S. government over the terms of the company’s bailout, a
discussion directors defended as their responsibility but one
that critics condemned as the height of ingratitude.

AIG is weighing whether to join a lawsuit filed by its
former chief executive, Hank Greenberg, and his company Starr
International, which owned 12 percent of the insurer before its
rescue.

Jan 8, 2013

AIG may join bailout lawsuit against U.S. government

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American International Group Inc, the insurer rescued by the U.S. government in 2008 with a bailout that ultimately totaled $182 billion, may now join a lawsuit against the government alleging the terms of the deal were unfair, the company said on Tuesday.

Negative reaction was swift. A leading congressional Democrat called criticism of the deal’s terms “utterly ridiculous,” and former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer – who probed AIG when he was in office – called the prospect of a suit “insulting to the public.”

Dec 28, 2012

First Tennessee, BBVA unit took big Fed loans in late 2010

WASHINGTON, Dec 28 (Reuters) – First Tennessee Bank and a
U.S. affiliate of Spanish bank BBVA were among the
largest borrowers from the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending
program in late 2010, according to data released on Friday.

By far the largest loan in the quarter was the roughly $1.02
billion that First Horizon unit First Tennessee
borrowed on Nov. 24, 2010 for a two-day term. That one loan
represented about 29 percent of all primary credit lending from
the discount window for the quarter.

Dec 13, 2012

MetLife says 2013 profit may be well below Wall Street view

By Ben Berkowitz and Tanya Agrawal

(Reuters) – MetLife Inc (MET.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the largest life insurer in the United States, warned that 2013 earnings might be well below what Wall Street expects and said it needed to accelerate its strategic plans amid a persistently low interest-rate environment.

While MetLife has said in past that it was well equipped to handle years of low rates, particularly with a hedging program it put in place, the company acknowledged on Thursday that it was in a “lower-for-longer” scenario.

Dec 12, 2012

Berkshire buyback seen clashing with estate tax push

Dec 12 (Reuters) – Warren Buffett’s $1.2 billion share
buyback from a single unnamed investor likely helped that
person’s estate save substantially on taxes, just one day after
the Berkshire Hathaway CEO said the rich should actually be
paying more, not less, when they die.

With the “fiscal cliff” looming and estate taxes set to rise
dramatically in less than three weeks, the timing was seen as
advantageous – and, according to Berkshire watchers, also out of
place in the context of Buffett’s recent tax activism.

Dec 12, 2012

Berkshire buys $1.2 billion in stock from single investor

By Ben Berkowitz and Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – Warren Buffett’s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc bought back $1.2 billion in stock from the estate of an unnamed investor, the company said on Wednesday, one day after Buffett advocated for a higher estate tax when the wealthy die.

Berkshire also raised the threshold for future share buybacks to 120 percent of book value from 110 percent – the level it chose when it first approved a repurchase program in September 2011.

Dec 10, 2012

Chinese group buys AIG aircraft firm for up to $4.8 billion

NEW YORK/HONG KONG (Reuters) – American International Group Inc (AIG.N: Quote, Profile, Research) will sell nearly all of aircraft leasing business ILFC (ILFC.N: Quote, Profile, Research) to a Chinese consortium for up to $4.8 billion (2.9 billion pounds), in a deal that gives the fastest growing aviation market easier and cheaper access to planes.

But the sale is at a far cheaper price than AIG sought and will lead to a substantial loss, the insurer’s price for getting out of its last major non-core asset following the U.S. government bailout of the company in the financial crisis.

Dec 10, 2012

Chinese group to buy AIG’s plane leasing firm for up to $4.8 billion

NEW YORK/HONG KONG (Reuters) – American International Group Inc (AIG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is to sell nearly all of ILFC (ILFC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s second-largest airplane leasing business, to a Chinese consortium for up to $4.8 billion, giving the fastest growing aviation market easier and cheaper access to planes.

Chinese firms have shown interest in aircraft leasing before, and the deal would give China access to a global network of about 200 airlines in 80 countries. China is already ILFC’s largest market with 180 planes operating there, giving it 35 percent market share.

Dec 10, 2012

AIG to sell ILFC to Chinese group for up to $4.8 bln

HONG KONG/NEW YORK, Dec 10 (Reuters) – American
International Group Inc has agreed to sell nearly all of
its ILFC airplane leasing business to a Chinese consortium for
up to $4.8 billion, in a deal that will require review from the
U.S. foreign investment committee.

AIG’s announcement, confirming news on Friday that a deal
with a Chinese buyer was imminent, said the U.S. insurer will
submit the offer for review by the U.S. Committee on Foreign
Investment. The inter-agency committee, also known as CFIUS,
vets foreign deals for security concerns.

    • About Ben

      "Ben Berkowitz covers the insurance industry in New York City. He rejoined Reuters in Amsterdam in May 2009, covering the Dutch banking system and economy. He originally worked for Reuters in Los Angeles and New York from 2001 to 2006 covering everything from video games to oil. In between he was business editor at AOL, head of the editing desk at AP Business News and managing editor of Fidelity.com."
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