AIG Bailed Out Again

money.cnn.com — Troubled insurer American International Group got a reworked $152.5 billion deal from the federal government, as the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department made significant changes to the terms of the company's original bailout. The Fed announced that it will reduce AIG's original $85 billion bridge loan to $60 billion, and it will cut the interest rate by 5.5 percentage points. In addition, the Treasury will use its special authority under last month's $700 billion bailout law — the so-called Troubled Asset Relief Program — to purchase $40 billion in preferred stock.

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Bailout Held Big Bank Windfall

washingtonpost.com — The financial world was fixated on Capitol Hill as Congress battled over the Bush administration's request for a $700 billion bailout of the banking industry. In the midst of this late-September drama, the Treasury Department issued a five-sentence notice that attracted almost no public attention. But corporate tax lawyers quickly realized the enormous implications of the document: Administration officials had just given American banks a windfall of as much as $140 billion. The sweeping change to two decades of tax policy escaped the notice of lawmakers for several days, as they remained consumed with the controversial bailout bill. When they found out, some legislators were furious. Some congressional staff members have privately concluded that the notice was illegal.

//ga3.org/ct/Cp20pgF1gSEl/



Fannie Mae Loss Widens to $29 Billion

news.bbc.co.uk — U.S. mortgage finance firm Fannie Mae has reported a significant increase in third-quarter losses in the wake of the slowing housing sector. Losses hit $28.99 billion in the three months to 30 September from a loss of $1.4 billion a year earlier, largely due to a tax-related charge of $21.4 billion. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were bailed out by the US government in a record U.S. corporate rescue deal in September. Both firms buy mortgages from approved lenders then sell them to investors. Neither Freddie Mac nor Mannie Mae lend directly to borrowers.

//ga3.org/ct/1120pgF1gSE0/



Two More Banks Fail

money.cnn.com — The tally of failed banks in 2008 rose to 19 as the government announced that a Texas and a California bank had been shuttered. Franklin Bank, a Houston, Texas-based bank and Security Pacific Bank, a Los Angeles, Calif.-based bank were shut down by state regulators, marking the 18th and 19th bank failures this year. Franklin Bank had total assets of $5.1 billion and total deposits of $3.7 billion as of Sept. 30, 2008, according to a statement on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s Web site. Ironically, Lewis Ranieri, the 61-year-old co-founder and chairman of parent Franklin Bank Corp., is credited with inventing mortgage-backed securities two decades ago, back when he worked at Salomon Brothers, where he is a former vice chairman.

//ga3.org/ct/C720pgF1gSEo/



Bailout Watch: Bush's Subtle Scheme to Stop Obama Reforms

In his first radio address as President-elect, Barack Obama made this strong statement: "[We will] ensure that the rescue plan that passed Congress is working to stabilize financial markets while protecting taxpayers, helping homeowners and not unduly rewarding the management of financial firms that are receiving government assistance." That said, it looks like the Bush administration is going to do everything it can to keep things just the way they are.

//ga3.org/ct/Z120pgF1gSEm/

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Bush Secretly Gave Banks $140 Billion Tax Windfall

Amit R. Paley, The Washington Post: "The financial world was fixated on Capitol Hill as Congress battled over the Bush administration's request for a $700 billion bailout of the banking industry. In the midst of this late-September drama, the Treasury Department issued a five-sentence notice that attracted almost no public attention. But corporate tax lawyers quickly realized the enormous implications of the document: Administration officials had just given American banks a windfall of as much as $140 billion."

//www.truthout.org/111008A



AIG Gives "Retention" Pay After Scrapping Bonuses

Hugh Son, Bloomberg: "American International Group Inc., the insurer that said yesterday it scrapped bonuses for top executives after a US bailout, will still pay 130 managers 'cash awards' to stay with the firm, including $3 million to retirement services chief Jay Wintrob."

//www.truthout.org/112908D



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