AIG says to report ‘earnings’. Really???

November 4, 2008

American International Group, the once giant insurer which has become best known as a sinkhole for government money, says it will report third-quarter results on Nov. 10.

Most notable was how AIG described what almost certainly was one of the ugliest reporting periods in financial history: “AIG’s earnings release and financial supplement will be available in the investor information section” of its website.

Earnings? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the use of the word “earnings” means money was earned during the quarter, or that the company will report there was money left in the coffer after pay outs. That is unlikely, at least based on analysts’ expectations.

Analysts’ on average expect AIG to report a loss of $1.69 a share in the third quarter, according to Reuters Estimates. It will be the insurer’s fourth-consecutive quarterly loss.

Maybe the insurer should have stuck with the word “results.” It would likely be more accurate and sounds better than the other alternative, “loss report.”

The company’s quarterly report will be its first since it accepted a $85 billion federal bailout on Sept. 16. Since, the insurer has been extended more federal aid, putting a total of $123 billion in taxpayer funds at its disposal.

8 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

When I taught Grade 7 Language Arts and Humanities, I instructed my students that they were now too old to use the dictionary as single or primary research support for their arguments and research papers.

Obviously, you missed the class.

Posted by Leanne Green | Report as abusive

AIG and it’s new fed executives are still in denial as to the eventual liquidation of the company. The article should have described AIG as a sinkhole for taxpayer money. Given the “presumed” amount of AIG’s current risk exposure (The company still refuses to disclose its exposure) expect AIG to burn through at least another 100 billion taxpayer dollars as they delay the inevitable liquidation of the company. It’s time to cut AIG loose and send more of its former executives to jail.

Posted by reality check | Report as abusive

By law, any company traded on the NYSE has to make a 3Q earnings report. Everyone in the world is aware of AIG’s status and expects AIG to report losses…so why does Lilla Zuill mock? Very unprofessional. Lilla should be reporting news, not acting like a commentator for Reuters. Many shareholders (just regular folks)lost a lot of money with AIG, and some are hoping to see AIG recover.

Posted by Bud Meyers | Report as abusive

It’s all part of the politically correct terminology we are all forced to use these days…

P&L reports are are thing of the past; now referred to as Income Statements – when there is less-than-zero profit, it is reported as negative income.

At least it’s better than taking a loss.

Posted by BillCox | Report as abusive

Cute – having fun with an easy target. The industry calls them earnings reports, but of course, that isn’t relevant to someone only in search of sarcasm.

Posted by jbn42 | Report as abusive

Derivatives, the final financial frontier. These are the voyages of the TARP Enterprise.
It’s open ended mission: to explore strange new financial weapons of mass destruction, to seek out
new write downs and new financial black holes, to boldly bail where no free market capitalist has bailed before.

Captain Hank at Planet AIG: “Beam me up Ben, there’s no intelligent life here.”

First Officer Bernanke: “Curious Captain, these AIG managers seem to think they can raise $130 Billion Federation Credits through a “fire sale” (is that what you call it) in the worst market for financial assets ever seen in this galaxy quadrant.

Engineer Cox: Perhaps we should’nt be tampering with these delicate instruments.


AIG’s stock price has risen from about $1.45 to about $2.45 in the last 5 days. If you’re that smart financially speaking, you’d be making profits off this price increase of around 65%…instead of regurgitating info that everyone already know.

Posted by tj | Report as abusive

So much for unbiased journalism. Did the author chew on a lemon before writing such a bitter-tongued article?

Posted by Pyrrhus | Report as abusive

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