Tag Archive | "AIG"

AIG Chiefs Pressed to Dontate to Chris Dodd

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WASHINGTON TIMES: AIG chiefs pressed to donate to Dodd – $160,000 streamed in as senator gained power on banking committee

As Democrats prepared to take control of Congress after the 2006 elections, a top boss at the insurance giant American International Group Inc. told colleagues that Sen. Christopher J. Dodd was seeking re-election donations and he implored company executives and their spouses to give.

Getty Images Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, has lost some political standing heading into re-election because of his ties to American International Group Inc.

The message in the Nov. 17, 2006, e-mail from Joseph Cassano, AIG Financial Products chief executive, was unmistakable: Mr. Dodd was “next in line” to be chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, which oversees the insurance industry, and he would “have the opportunity to set the committee’s agenda on issues critical to the financial services industry.

“Given his seniority in the Senate, he will also play a key role in the Democratic Majority’s leadership,” Mr. Cassano wrote in the message, obtained by The Washington Times.

Mr. Dodd’s campaign quickly hit pay dirt, collecting more than $160,000 from employees and their spouses at the AIG Financial Products division (AIG-FP) in Wilton, Conn., in the days before he took over as the committee chairman in January 2007. Months later, the senator transferred the donations to jump-start his 2008 presidential bid, which later failed.

Now, two years later, Mr. Dodd has emerged as a central figure in the government’s decision to let executives at the now-failing AIG collect more than $218 million in bonuses, according to the Connecticut attorney general – even as the company was receiving billions of dollars in assistance from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). He acknowledged that he slipped a provision into legislation in February that authorized the bonuses, but said the Treasury Department asked him to do it.

Wall Street in turmoil, world markets reel under shock of Lehman Brothers’ crash

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Lehman Brothers, the fourth biggest American investment bank, filed for bankruptcy early Monday, leaving 30,000 jobless worldwide and $600bn in debt on what some called the most catastrophic day in a century for global financial markets.

The European Central Bank injected 30 billion to steady the markets, followed by the Bank of England, which earmarked 5 billion sterling to arrest the City’s slide.

Lehman Brothers crashed after Barclays and the Bank of America withdrew their bids to rescue the 158-year old banking institution and the federal government refused a bailout.

The Bank of America bought out the limping Merrill Lynch for app. $50 bn, but the American International Group Inc. (AIG), once the world’s largest insurer, is struggling to survive.

Ten US and foreign banks set up a $70bn fund to save troubled companies.

The collapse of the three biggest names on Wall Street threatens to wipe out many billions of dollars from pension funds and the banking and insurance industries in a worldwide chain reaction of turbulence.

World markets fell as The US government and Federal Reserve failed to in their efforts to bring the financial landslide under control over the weekend in time for Monday’s trading.  Some firms linked to the failing banks may be rescued while others will have no option but to file for bankruptcy.  Lehman Brothers’ UK business Pricewaterhouscoopers has been placed into administration.