One day, Vince McMahon will pay handsomley to get Ben Bernanke and Alan Grayson in the squared circle. Until that day, we should just hope and dream. In the meantime, we have litters and public appearances by the Florida Congressman, who takes the latest AIG "taxpayer payback" opportunity to remind everyone of just how deeply he loves the "we create money out of thin air" institution that is the Federal Reserve.
I write with concern about two announced deals that are lauded by AIG CEO Robert Benmosche as AIG's plan to 'pay back the taxpayer'. In reading through the deal, it looks to me like the Federal Reserve is simply engaged in yet another disguised bailout of AIG. It's not surprising that the New York Fed continues to shovel money at AIG using its balance sheet, since this seems to be official policy, but this time, the bailout also involves cheating the IRS.
In describing the deal specifics:
This relationship is not significantly different from just making the subsidiaries collateral for the existing loan from the New York Fed, with four exceptions. One, the FRBNY's right are downgraded in this deal from creditors to preferred shareholders. Two, AIG gets to claim "repayment" and take a tax loss to reduce the company's income taxes. Three, the FRBNY credit facilities are already collateralized. Four, the New York Fed owns nearly 80% of AIG, putting it on all sides of the deal.
And most brazenly, and deserving of applause, the allegation that Bernanke is implicilty breaking the law by his most recent AIG bailout:
As the New York Fed owns most of AIG, this deal could be considered a faked sale to generate a capital loss for the purposes of injecting Treasury funds into AIG without the consent of Congress. Please explain the legality of the arrangement.