Wednesday, November 12, 2008

AIG Headline - Strangely Optimistic

I saw the following headline last night and was touched by how optimistic it seems relative to how negative most people have become:

Will AIG Be Able to Repay Taxpayers?

Part of the problem is that most taxpayers and some of the media think that the money being used to dismantle AIG and the rest of the TARP money is just being thrown out the window. This article is the first mention I can remember of the fact that AIG has paid the U.S. government over $2 billion in interest already. The preferred stock that the Fed owns in the financials pays a 5% dividend for the first five years whereas the Fed can borrow 5-year money at 2.75%. That is a decent trade.

I'm not saying that the situation is good. It isn't and the size of the Fed's balance sheet is scary. Some things will end badly and AIG may be one of them. Some things will work out for the best, though. It is just oppressive how negative it has gotten.

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