Breakingviews

MetLife CEO should revel in his anonymity

July 29, 2014

That almost no one knows ol’ so-and-so is good for shareholders. How he handles the mega-insurer’s likely designation as a systemic threat could change that. A Jamie Dimon-style fight would be foolish. Better to speak softly and keep the name Steve Kandarian out of headlines.

Taxpayers come second to company in AIG plan

September 30, 2010

American International Group is throwing off its shackles. But taxpayers will be locked in for a while yet. The company’s deal with the government over its $100 billion of bailout funds makes the insurer’s finances simpler and healthier. That’s potentially good for shareholders. But initially the plan largely just rearranges the government’s interests. It is hard to see how it gets taxpayers cash back any sooner, while increasing their risk.

Time to pull the plug on NY’s Hank Greenberg suit

April 11, 2013

The fraud case against the ex-AIG boss has already outlasted two of the state’s attorneys general. After losing a ruling Wednesday, a third AG should fold. His office is plenty busy pursuing financial-crisis cases and other scams. It doesn’t need this eight-year-old distraction.

Uncle Sam’s AIG exit likely to be drawn out

September 28, 2010

There's no quick way for the U.S. government to exit American International Group. Converting $49 billion of preferred stock to common shares and selling them would, like the government's exit from Citigroup, take a while.

AIA’s new chief could unlock two deals

July 19, 2010

In giving its Asia chief executive the chop, American International Group may have unlocked two deals. First, the flotation of its AIA division in Hong Kong, which should now go ahead after a false start. Second, an eventual merger between AIA and the Asian portion of its big rival -- and recent failed suitor -- the UK's Prudential.

Lesson to Pru: AIG isn’t a normal corporation

June 1, 2010

The wrangling over AIG's Asian insurance unit AIA clarifies what Prudential's board should have known all along: AIG is beholden to the U.S. taxpayer. While accepting a lower price might have been a rational business decision, it also would have further opened AIG to charges of shortchanging its owners -- this time to help Pru.

Winding down

March 16, 2010

Regulators need to approach the notion of resolution with resolve. To avoid the next financial mega-collapse, like Lehman or American International Group, Senator Chris Dodd's new bill for reforming U.S. financial regulation gives watchdogs powers to liquidate all big financial firms, not just banks.

AIG’s Alico sales may delay, confuse taxpayer exit

February 10, 2010

The plot is thickening again for the American International Group bailout.

AIG still needs charmed future to repay taxpayers

January 26, 2010

The role of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in the $180 billion bailout of American International Group is under scrutiny in Washington. Yet whatever the outcome of Wednesday's hearing of the House Oversight Committee, AIG still owes American taxpayers some $124 billion.

Can crisis inquiry live up to 1930s?

January 14, 2010

Despite flashes of incisiveness from Chairman Phil Angelides, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission’s debut with Wall Street bosses Wednesday lacked that kind of promise. It’s early days, but the panel needs to sharpen up.