In an effort to deflect criticism over the way it settled its credit exposure to troubled insurance giant American International Group, Goldman Sachs today stood by its assertion that it had no material exposure to AIG because of a complex web of collateral and offsetting hedges.
The former investment bank now turned bank holding company received more than $14 billion of AIG's bailout money.
Even as it had around $10 billion in exposure to AIG through credit derivatives contracts it held with the insurer, Goldman remained covered in hedges through credit default swaps' it wrote separately with European Union banks to cover any potential losses, said David Viniar, Goldman Sachs chief financial officer. Goldman Sachs did not have significant exposure to AIG, he said.
All well and good, but we didn't have significant exposure to AIG either. So where's our $14 billion?
Meanwhile, while Congress busies itself chasing a bunch of AIG traders' measly $100 million in bonuses, its letting Goldman walk scot-free from its robbery of U.S. taxpayers.
Goldman bet on derivatives. Goldman didn't perform due diligence on the counter party risk AIG presented, a key metric in the OTC credit default swap market. Or rather, it did by taking further hedges. So why should Goldman get $14 billion if it hedged the counter party risk and in any event, didn't have significant exposure?
Because they're Goldman, that's why.
The DOW was recently trading lower by 0.28% as traders turned thumbs down on the Fed's latest plan to inflate itself out of the liquidity trap created when the commercial banks it supervises (or Treasury Secretary and admitted tax cheat Tim Geithner supervised in his former position as President of the N.Y. Federal Reserve Bank) made lousy one-way housing bets right under its nose. The S&P was lower by 0.79% and the NASDAQ 0.86%.
The dollar was taking a brief respite on its way to oblivion, with gains of 0.68% on the euro, 1.44% on the yen and 0.08% against sterling as it fell an additional 0.53% on Australia's currency.
Crude for April delivery was recently trading down 9 cents per barrel while April gold lost $4.10 per ounce.