Guest Post: AIG Chairman Says That You Just Don’t Get It

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Finance Addict

AIG Chairman Says That You Just Don’t Get It

Steve Miller is the chairman of AIG. Between 2008 and 2009 AIG received $97.8 billion in loans from the Fed plus four bailouts totaling $69.8 billion in taxpayer money. This is what Steve had to say yesterday when asked by Bloomberg TV’s Betty Liu for his views on Occupy Wall Street. The emphasis is mine.

BL: Steve, before I let you go, I’ve got to ask you about Occupy Wall Street, because that was big news yesterday–it still is big news today, but you know, these guys that are down there–these men and women down on Occupy Wall Street–are complaining about the very companies, like yours, AIG, that needed the federal bailouts and they’re saying because of that, we don’t have a job any more.

SM: Well, unfortunately I would say the understanding of the Occupy Wall Street crowd of what makes our country work is probably fairly limited. It’s a very simplistic view of things. No one will ever know what would have happened to our country and our whole global financial system if AIG had  been allowed just to go down. All I know is that over a long weekend some very serious people in Washington, Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner and so on, made the decision to bail out AIG. They did it in a way that protected the interests of the taxpayers so that they would have the prospect of recovering all the money and that is our principal objective and we think we’ve got it in sight that we could make sure that every taxpayer got back every penny that went to AIG. And, so if it helped prevent a meltdown of the system, and you got your money back and a profit, hard to argue–

 BL: [interrupting] But that’s lost on them, though.

 SM: Of course it’s lost on them. They think, ‘You know, why are you bailing out Wall Street and not Main Street.’ And you have to have a view as to what would have happened if Wall Street had been allowed to just implode. I think it would have been devastating for our whole economy and that would have been far worse for Main Street than what did happen.

What can one say to this without resorting to profanity? A few things.

  • It’s been almost three years to the day since AIG was bailed out. And guess what? AIG stil owes taxpayers $49.4 BILLION! That’s more than half the budget of the Department of Education. What was that about taxpayers getting their money back, Steve?
  • A significant amount of the aid–$52.5 billion–was pumped into special purpose vehicles created by the Federal Reserve  Bank of New York to take dodgy mortgage bonds and other loan-backed securities off of AIG’s balance sheet and the balance sheets of its Too Big To Fail bank clients. Part of this constituted a back-door bailout of American and European banks. To get its money back the Fed will have to wait until these questionable securities mature, hoping that they don’t default in the interim, or sell them in the markets. The Fed tried to sell some earlier this year and, lo and behold, it didn’t go so well. It’s very difficult to say when and whether this money will be recouped.
  • What did U.S. taxpayers get for the rest of the money given to AIG? Unsecured interests. We now own about 77% of the company via preferred and common shares. This means that should AIG go bankrupt–and by the way, their latest numbers look horribletaxpayers will be among the last to be repaid. They’ll stand near the back of the line and watch as bondholders and other secured creditors get their money back first. How’s that for taxpayer protection?
  • Experts say that we need to sell the AIG shares for an average of $28.72 in order to break even. What’s the 200 day moving average of the stock? $23.02. And this is before the end of the slow motion train wreck known as Europe. As I mentioned yesterday, American financial institutions’ exposure to Europe could be as high as $767.5 billion. If things really jump off in Europe, we’ll be in for chaos in the U.S. stock markets. Even if things don’t collapse we cannot just dump 77% of the company on the market; we’d need to sell in smaller lots over time. Long story short, we won’t see this money back for quite some time, if ever.

Finally, intentionally or no, the rest of Steve’s comments imply that the crisis brought on in part by decisions made at AIG were not devastating to millions of Americans. And yet:

It’s not that we don’t “understand how this country works”, Steve. We understand it all too well–it works for you and your buddies on the AIG board. It’s not working out so well for the rest of us.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
DaveyJones's picture

he's right, we never do seem to get it. They always do

CPL's picture



Let's just call the whole thing off.

SilverRhino's picture



He's right,  I don't fargin' get it.   The economy and the icehole banking systems of the world are passing into the shitter, their bells are in a sling and the silver price is basically crashing. 

  • Silver Bid: 32.56 Ask: 32.66 Change:  -1.21
  •  Gold Bid: 1,737.70 Ask: 1,739.70 Change:  -36.60

Can anyone explain that one?  

tekhneek's picture

C'mon SR you know they always hammer it before delivery to shake out the weak hands. They're just not doing it a 48 hours before this time. I kind of see this sell off lasting til possibly $27, even as low as $25 then it's margin hike time to tame the volatility (lulz)

Apparently JP's getting ready for a big delivery month in December too, moving 1.1 million oz from eligible to registered last night.

But what the hell do I know?

Can anyone else confirm what the doc is saying?

tarsubil's picture

Yeah. Look at the monthly chart and $25 does seem a possibility. $60-80 in the next year is also a possibility. Total backside tearage as the SHTF shortly after that seems logical too.

SilverRhino's picture

Damn, it's already that time again?   Thanks. Works for me I just need to keep my cash handy. :-)

So delivery is based on a quarterly schedule?  I need to figure out the next three windows for buying physical (assuming these bullshit shenannigans continue)

After thinking on this for a little bit more, this might be one of the last times they get to do this and are prepping for massive deliveries as connected people EXIT the paper into physical.   Definitely time to get ready for buying.  


CPL's picture

Paper is collapsing.  Physical is still +5% if you are buying it retail.


The situation is simple.  Ignore the "market".  None of us control it, have ownership, administer infrastructure of it.  Why are you even using paper silver as the pointer?  Call a jeweler.

tarsubil's picture

Watching the market can help you buy at a discount for maximum stacks for your fiat.

SilverRhino's picture

Because we're planing on buying the fucking dips .... fuck the jewlers and their 200% minimum markups over spot.  :-)

terryfuckwit's picture

better still can anyone tell me which is worse for the tbtf... silver flying up or flying down...

going up brings attention to the silver price and will increase sales

going down massively increases sales with buyers like me who fill their boots when they can and further ensures decoupling of physical from paper making the play ridiculously obvious and recruiting more and more bugs to the cause and causing shortages...

up or down = potential shortages and hence result in clear and dramatic negative effect for those who would like to extend  the duration of the the suppression..

Even if this time we have genuine  liquidation of the paper slv etc these punters may relaise it's time to hold the metal... Paper is meaningless and decoupling will occur... expect crazy swings and keep stacking

hoos bin pharteen's picture

With big deliver month coming up, expect a margin hike soon, bitchez!

pelican's picture

I wish I could kick him in the mouth.  It might be worth the jail time.

Chuck Walla's picture

The Space Cowboy speaks!

Sudden Debt's picture



I think he means:

HE GETS IT (the money)

WE DON'T (the money)

Popo's picture

He talks repeatedly about "Saving the System" as if that's a good thing.

Clearly he doesn't understand.  

The system is the problem.  The system needs to implode.

yogy999's picture

You nailed it perfectly! The current ponzi we live under makes us powerless to control our destiny's if we live by "the rules". We either have to live in a Black Market, (so-to-speak), or suffer the consequences. Anyone on this board already knows to live off-the-grid to a point but wouldn't it be so much better if we had a "system" that rewarded thrift and allowed us all to build a future. I love this websight and the posters accordingly. What a breath of freash air.


ForWhomTheTollBuilds's picture

"If they do it in such a way, that you get your money back... and you get a profit..."


Well, shit man, thanks.

pupton's picture

Some people call him "the space cowboy", some call him "the gangster of love"...and some people call him "Maurrrrice", cuz he speaks of the pompetus of love.


Au_Ag_CuPbCu's picture

Due to recent budget cuts and the rising cost of electricity, gas and oil, as well as current market conditions, the Light at the End of the Tunnel has been turned off.

Toolshed's picture

And another keyboard bites the dust......too fucking funny!! +1

Delmar's picture

the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train

The Big Ching-aso's picture



I think his real name is Steve Shiller.

Whoa Dammit's picture

How come no one ever asks any of these fuck heads a real question, like "How do you feel about directly causing and profiting from the middle class' loss of $7 trillion in the residential real estate market?"

The Alarmist's picture

And them
And after all, we're only ordinary men ....

That should be the theme of OWS.

Lazane's picture

easy to say when you live in the swells, not so easy to survive out here in the surf. 

Sudden Debt's picture



Even if things don’t collapse we cannot just dump 77% of the company on the market; we’d need to sell in smaller lots over time.


CPL's picture

Yeah, but inflation wouldn't have kicked in properly.  AIG and the rest of the turds in the Federal toilet bowl all required that their PM bets came with a nice 300% increase.


So whatever AIG is paying back to the  government pretty much worth a lots less than the granted boon or TARP/QE x.x/Bailout Dark pool/Usual slush funds/Pensions/etc.  This was all discussed at the FAS committees three years ago with great glee and happiness.  Same fuckers that took out mark to market on housing. 


By the time AIG is finished paying back it's boon, that cool Trillion given will be worth a 100 million in real value.  Meanwhile they'll make believe the trillion with 20 times the leverage (on a loan remember) is worth 20 trillion dollars in some phoney POS CDS/bond scheme that would have Charles Ponzi shaking his head in disbelief.


Of course that was the full intention of all the actions done so far.  So the AIG Chairman is not remotely correct in our understanding of the situation.  It is crystal clear.  We understand fully to the point we are being led down the path of a Weinmar Banana Republic.  Main street would have survived a bust, ditched the FIAT crap and switched to barter.  It's a situation that is untenable to a joker like the spoil'd little blue blood shit sitting in the Chairman's seat which was given to him by proxy of his father.


All those years of saved labour and capital put into the system in the expectation of a return is what is throwing these idiots for a curve.  Somehow they are surprised that nobody is willing to get it stuck in their ass by "them" and the rest of their banker ilk.


The funniest thing of all is when main street builds the gallows, he'll still wonder how nobody "got it" until the noose breaks his neck and suffocates him to death with his own fat ass courtesy of gravity.

bigwavedave's picture

Occupy Steve Miller

semperfi's picture

Bubba Occupy Steve Miller's Hole in jail

Quadlet's picture

Large block trades on the COMEX from yesterday:

Code Contract Type Exchange Price Qty Time OGG2|1780C Gold Options OPT COMEX 7910 600 14:20:37 CT OGM2|1780C Gold Options OPT COMEX 14600 300 14:20:37 CT
YesWeKahn's picture

"What can one say to this without resorting to profanity"

none. This guy deserves the best profanity.

alien-IQ's picture

Hubris...plain and simple. Hubris.

(there...I refrained from using any motherfuckin profanity) bad.

AngryGerman's picture

anyyone has a rope?

tarsubil's picture

Is this why bug out bags are supposed to have one?

MaggieL's picture

Finance Addict needs to not use "you" when referring to OWS. 

I am not an Occupant. Maybe that's something Finance Addict doesn't get. 

Protip: The Bolsheviks (Russian for "Majority") weren't the majority until nobody challenged their claim that they were.




Cliff Claven Cheers's picture

"Our Congress has become the legislative branch of eBay — Congressmen are auctioned off to the highest bidder; they even have a Buy It Now button to get specific legislation passed. The executive branch has fallen under the sunk cost fallacy, afraid to prosecute banks because we spent so many billions bailing them out. It turns out that even our once venerable Supreme Court is just as corrupted, with lobbyists partying with Justices and backdooring ethics by hiring their wives."

Hit the nail on the head.


Bananamerican's picture

haven't checked out Ritholtz in a loooooooong time...

maybe he's coming around from his SoftPatch™ views....

Silenus's picture

A bullet through his head would change his attitude.

semperfi's picture

Too easy on him - Bubba in his hole in jail for a couple years is much better.

xcehn's picture

Bullets cost money.  There's a cost-effective alternative for that.

Spastica Rex's picture

AIG Chairman Says That "You Just Don’t Get It."

Truer words have never been spoken - I sure the fuck don't.

Peter K's picture

One always needs to separate the messanger from the message. Message is 100% correct, messanger.... manbe no:)

tickhound's picture

Preserving a failed institution is 100% correct?  Socializing risk is 100% correct?  To avoid some pain?  Fuck the messenger, the message, and its supporter.

tony bonn's picture

"What can one say to this without resorting to profanity?"

i will resort to profanity by calling steve miller an arrogant full of himself cock sucking cunt...

wall street should have been liquidated like the cheap stupid whore that it is managed by pretentious, foolish flatulent frat boys who are too incompetent to do anything but lavish bonuses upon themselves for untold fraud...

fuck the banksters.....

Cliff Claven Cheers's picture

Wisdom is always proved by its results.  When the whole system is collapsed because of all the corruption, maybe then will wallstreet understand how wrong they were.

xcehn's picture

They will NEVER admit they are lower than VERMIN, no matter what.

11b40's picture

What do you have against cock sucking cunts?