Posts Tagged ‘AIG’

The Chevron settlement Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, May 12th, 2014

LatinAmerLast week Chevron received from Patton Boggs, the former #1 lobbying law firm in the country, an apology, a $15million payment, and most remarkably,

Perhaps more unusual is the law firm’s agreement to deliver partners James Tyrrell and Eric Westenberger to Gibson Dunn’s New York offices for depositions overseen by a court-appointed special master. The firm has also agreed to turn over documents, provided its former clients don’t prevail on challenges under the attorney-client privilege.

This apology is phenomenally interesting.

ARGENTINA
Litigious investors ask US Supreme Court to deny Argentina a ‘do-over’ on $1.4B debt ruling

BOLIVIA
Bolivian mayor caught on video groping journalist, and he was persistent, too,

BRAZIL
Is Brazil Losing Global Momentum?

1,500 Attack Brazilian Construction Giant’s HQ

Brazil’s frantic eleventh hour World Cup preparations

CHILE
Chile president to visit Obama on June 30

Bachelet won but Chile police clash with activists as thousands protest for free education

COLOMBIA
Colombia: Hacker Tried to Sabotage Peace Talks

CUBA
Cuba: The Splendid Little War – A Boardgaming Way Review

AIG Fined for Cuba Sanctions Violations

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Haiti, Dominican Republic Postpone Meeting

ECUADOR
In Self-Promotion Abroad, Ecuador’s Correa Omits His Repression of Critics at Home

GUATEMALA
A Coffee Crop Withers
Fungus Cripples Coffee Production Across Central America

MEXICO
Mexico to Try Former State Governor for Embezzlement

NICARAGUA
BORDER DISPUTE
Costa Rica’s foreign minister accuses Russia of helping militarize Nicaragua

Russia “announced the desire to have bases in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, with the euphemistic name of ‘bases for refueling and resupplying’ for its ships. But we know it’s not just about that,” Castillo said.

PANAMA
Panama’s Construction Union Ends Strike

PERU
A 5,000 feet free fall: Peru air force officer survives fall after parachute malfunction

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico Unveils Economic Recovery Plan Details

URUGUAY
Monsanto plans to patent genetically modified marijuana in Uruguay

VENEZUELA

 

Policeman killed in Venezuela after security forces break up protester camp
Violent clashes between police and protesters after troops arrest 243 students in pre-dawn raids on tented camps in Caracas leaves one officer dead

Venezuelans Ask What Now After Protest Camp Raids

Machurucuto, 1967 – Venezuela’s Bay of Pigs: Fidel Castro’s first ploy to lay his hand on Venezuela’s oil riches

Can the United States Play a Role in Venezuela?

Is Venezuela seeking the status of pariah state?

BREAKING NEWS: Ros-Lehtinen Venezuela sanctions bill passes House Foreign Affairs Committee, clears first hurdle to holding Maduro accountable

Capital flight in Venezuela could well exceed $405.8 billion

One for the “no sh*t, Sherlock” file: The ‘Dialogue’ in Venezuela Is a Fraud
More than 500 citizens have been arrested since negotiations began.

The week’s posts and podcast:
Panama: And now, price controls

The Boring Veins of Latin America

En español: Terapia Intensiva 206

Chile: Down with entrepreneurs

Ecuador: Patton Boggs to pay Chevron $15 million

Colombia: Another campaign aide quits

Venezuela: Armed civilians fight protesters

Colombia: Santos campaign chief resigns

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
What the #hashtag?

Milton Friedman and the Sahara, Caracas and water

Podcast:
US-Latin America stories of the week


Busload of Crazies to Tour Homes of AIG Executives This Weekend…and ACORN’s behind it

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

This is extremely disturbing – in fact, of all the news of the past sixty days this I find the most disturbing of all:

Busload of Crazies to Tour Homes of AIG Executives This Weekend

The Connecticut Working Families Party this weekend has organized a bus store that will make stops at Wilton, Connecticut, AIG office as well as the security-patrolled homes of AIG execs who are fearing for their lives.

“We’re going to be peaceful and lawful in everything we do,” said Jon Green, the director of Connecticut Working Families. “I know there’s a lot of anger and a lot of rage about what’s happened. We’re not looking to foment that unnecessarily, but what we want to do is give folks in Bridgeport and Hartford and other parts of Connecticut who are struggling and losing their homes and their jobs and their health insurance an opportunity to see what kinds of lifestyle billions of dollars in credit-default swaps can buy.”

Right, they’re not fomenting rage, they’re just encouraging it. So if you happen to record someone’s address so you can return in the dead of night, it’s not like Working Families told you to! We know we sound paranoid and we really can’t believe we’re actually on the same side as Rush, but this is getting way out of hand.

Here is their schedule:

10AM: Pick up in Hartford
(Working Families Headquarters – 30 Arbor St.)

11AM: Pick up in Bridgeport
(ACORN Offices 2320 Main St.)

Tour and Protest
AIG Financial Products headquarters, executives’ houses.

2:30: Return to Bridgeport
3:30: Return to Hartford

Sweetness & Light checked out the website and here’s what he found

Why a couple of mouse clicks would tell any interested journalist that they were ‘founded’ by none other than ACORN.

From CWF’s website:

Working Families Party Making Inroads

by Scott Whipple (New Britain Herald) Oct. 28th, 2008
Asked about the party’s joint founder, ACORN (The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), Dinkin said “while it’s fair to say that ACORN has a role in Working Families, allegations of voter fraud against ACORN are trumped up. At worst, a couple of people who worked for ACORN tried to cheat ACORN and not do their jobs. These people were identified and fired. I’m impressed with what a good operation they run.” …

So it all becomes clear.

The only question is why does ACORN feel the need to hide behind a front group?

Go read Jason Poblete’s post and think about why the AIG sideshow is endangering liberty and the rule of law.

UPDATE
Gerard has more contact information.

Welcome, Instapundit, Gateway Pundit and Hot Air readers.

Update 2
Ada sent this link to Wikipedia,

The Working Families Party (WFP) is a minor political party in the United States founded in New York in 1998. The party also has chapters in Connecticut, South Carolina, and Oregon, and is working towards establishing itself in Massachusetts and California[1].

New York’s Working Families Party was first organized in 1998 by a coalition of labor unions, ACORN and other community organizations, members of the now-inactive national New Party, and a variety of public interest groups.

Update 3
Moe has a follow-up (which he also posted at Red State) on how the day went.

UPDATE, Sunday 22 March
IBD editorial: Mob Rule In D.C.

The Law: Of all the alarming things going on in Washington these days nothing is as shocking, or disheartening, as the collapse in respect for the rule of law and the Constitution. Just look at the flap over AIG’s bonuses.

Go read the rest.

“It’s like — it was like Special Olympics, or something.”

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Obama on Jay Leno

MR. LENO: Now, are they going to put a basketball — I imagine the bowling alley has been just burned and closed down.

MR. OBAMA: No, no. I have been practicing all — (laughter.)

MR. LENO: Really? Really?

MR. OBAMA: I bowled a 129. (Laughter and applause.)

MR. LENO: No, that’s very good. Yes. That’s very good, Mr. President.

MR. OBAMA: It’s like — it was like Special Olympics, or something. (Laughter.)

MR. LENO: No, that’s very good.

MR. OBAMA: No, listen, I’m making progress on the bowling, yes.

Jake Tapper:

The first appearance by a sitting president on “The Tonight Show” may well end up being the last.

President Obama, in his taping with Jay Leno Thursday afternoon, attempted to yuk it up with the funnyman, and ended up insulting the disabled.

Allow me to ask, what the hell is a sitting president doing on Jay Leno in the first place?

Instead, how about comparing your miserable bowling with having your administration driving the country into the ditch? Perhaps you mean, like er, it’s like having Congressmen put in loopholes on the bailouts and then demonizing AIG and scapegoating Libby? And how about staying in Washington instead of flying a 12-hr round trip for the occasion?

AJ Stratta lets it rip:

Yeah, what a joke. The economy is in shambles and the politically connected rich are getting million dollar bonuses from struggling tax payers and our President is bombing out on Leno. Yeah, there’s ‘change’ for you. Insult the hurting kids as you rob their families of their wealth. Our President is a real piece of work.

Read the rest of Stratta’s post.

The President’s brain f**t is also timely: Hugh Hewitt reminds us that

Saturday, btw, is World Down Syndrome Awareness Day. March 21st was chosen for its numerical representation–3/21–being symbolic of the third “bonus” copy of the 21st chromosome, which is the genetic cause of Down syndrome. This discovery was made 50 years ago by Jerome Lejeune.

Let’s support the Special Olympics, a non-profit which will most likely be affected by Obama’s end to charitable tax exemptions.

UPDATE
Top 10 gaffes by Barack Obama and Joe Biden

And now
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a twofer! (h/t Ace).

Dodd’s loophole

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Dodd facing fresh political firestorm

Dodd just admitted on CNN that he inserted a loophole in the stimulus legislation that allowed million-dollar bonuses to insurance giant AIG to go forward – after previously denying any involvement in writing the controversial provision. .

“We wrote the language in the bill, the deal with bonuses, golden parachutes, excessive executive compensation that was adopted unanimously by the United States Senate in the stimulus bill,” Dodd told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer this afternoon.

“But for that language, there would have been no language to deal with this at all.”

Dodd had previously said that he played no role in writing the controversial language, and was not a part of the conference committee that inserted the language in the bill. As late as today, Dodd’s spokeswoman denied the senator’s involvement.

Here’s his official statement:

“I’m the one who has led the fight against excessive executive compensation, often over the objections of many. I did not want to make any changes to my original Senate-passed amendment but I did so at the request of Administration officials, who gave us no indication that this was in any way related to AIG. Let me be clear – I was completely unaware of these AIG bonuses until I learned of them last week.

“Reports that I changed my position on this issue are simply untrue. I answered a question by CNN last night regarding whether or not a specific date was aimed at protecting AIG. When I saw that my comments had been misconstrued, I felt it was important to set the record straight – that this had nothing to do with AIG.

“Fortunately, we wrote this amendment in a way that allows the Treasury Department to go back and review these bonus contracts and seek to recover the money for taxpayers. Again, I have led the fight to curb excessive executive compensation, and will continue to do so.”

Let’s go to the videotape:

Dodd received $103,100 from AIG last year. Here’s the list of top AIG recipients for the 2008 campaign:

1. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., $103,100
2. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., $101,332
3. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., $59,499
4. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., $35,965
5. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., $24,750
6. Former Gov. Mitt Romney, (R) Pres $20,850
7. Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., $19,975
8. Rep. John Larson, D-Conn, $19,750
9. Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H., $18,500
10. Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R) Pres $13,200
11. Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., $12,000
12. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., $11,000

Stephen Spruiell raises an interesting question,

But as for the politics, this AIG thing is blowing up in Obama’s face, and it looks an awful lot like his administration is trying to make Dodd the fall guy.

Last Tuesday I asked, Did anyone think of asking the AIG execs to forgo their bonuses? As you can see, that question has been answered.

UPDATE
Via Gerard

Did anyone think of asking the AIG execs to forgo their bonuses?

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

My two cents’ worth in a billion-dollar debacle:

AIG has the contractual obligation to pay the bonuses:

The $165 million is the latest installment of a retention program that is slated to pay the unit’s employees about $450 million. AIG had previously paid out $55 million, and an additional $230 million is pending for 2009.

An administration official said that on Friday Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner discussed the bonuses and compensation going forward with AIG’s government-appointed chief executive, Edward Liddy. Mr. Liddy informed Mr. Geithner he intended to pay out the bonuses, and the Treasury secretary said there was nothing he could do legally to stop that.

The official also said that Treasury has determined there is no way the government can actually extract the money from the individuals who already received the bonus payments. The government would face lawsuits with the potential of significant damage payouts and lawyer fees that could easily exceed the cost of the bonuses.

Nobody thought of asking them to forgo their bonuses, even when two weeks ago White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was saying the White House knew where the money was going.

Jennifer Rubin spells it out

here are two possible answers. First, Tim Geithner messed up. Or, second, there is no conceivable way of depriving employees of contractual bonuses. If the first is correct, then we have yet another reason to dump Geithner. If the second is the case, then the current round of angry recriminations is — shockingly — disingenuous.

So now there’s Plan B: spending more taxpayer money,

Instead, the administration said it will use a $30 billion installment of bailout funds approved March 2, to bring some pressure to bear on AIG. The official said before AIG can draw down funds from the $30 billion, new rules would be written into AIG’s contract to ensure no government money goes toward paying financial-products division bonuses. The cost of bonuses already paid would be recouped for the taxpayer.

It sounds like we’re supposed to believe that the extra $30 billion will make the execs cough up the $165 million the execs just got paid and which would be too expensive to pursue in court. Good luck with that, buddy. This is the smoke-and-mirrors solution.

There are all sorts of personal responsibility questions. Then there’s the seppuku option.

On a lighter note, my brother and I were talking about the AIG bonuses and he said, “You know why they feel they should keep the bonus, don’t you? Because they can say ‘hey, we delivered the bailout!’”

And, by the way, looking at the Big Money chart above, I fully expect we’ll be hearing similar stories about Citigroup, BoA, JP Morgan and Wells Fargo.

Shampoo, rinse, repeat.

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UPDATE
Ed has the moral of the story:

In the future, we can avoid having taxpayer dollars go to Wall Street bonuses by not bailing out private companies with taxpayer dollars.

UPDATE
Is AIG’s (mis)handling Obama’s Latest Costly Blunder?
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AIG joins cast of Shaun of the Dead: Too much is never enough

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

U.S. Is Said to Offer Another $30 Billion in Funds to A.I.G.

The federal government agreed Sunday night to provide an additional $30 billion in taxpayer money to the American International Group and loosen the terms of its huge loan to the insurer, which is preparing to report a $62 billion loss on Monday, the biggest quarterly loss in history, people involved in the discussions said.

The intervention would be the fourth time that the United States has had to step in to help A.I.G., the giant insurer, avert bankruptcy. The government already owns nearly 80 percent of the insurer’s holding company as a result of the earlier interventions, which included a $60 billion loan, a $40 billion purchase of preferred shares and $50 billion to soak up the company’s toxic assets.

But hey, why should we complain? It’s a new deal!

The new deal, the government’s fourth for AIG, represents a nearly complete reversal from the one first laid out in mid-September. Back then, federal officials acted as a demanding lender, forcing the insurer to pay a steep interest rate for what was expected to be a short-term loan. Now the government is relaxing loan terms by wiping out interest in hopes of preserving AIG’s value over a longer period.

The plan raises the possibility that the 90-year-old firm will be broken up completely, with businesses being hived off in separate stock offerings, although that process would likely take years. The company is planning to combine its giant property-casualty insurance operations into a new unit, with a new name and separate management, and to sell nearly 20% of it to investors.

AIG’s revised deal effectively cuts the interest and dividend payments that the insurer must make to the government. That eases the financial burden on the company, which is expected to report a $60 billion quarterly loss on Monday.

Under the latest plan, the U.S. will give AIG access to up to $30 billion in new cash from its Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, but will also cut the insurer’s $60 billion credit line with the Federal Reserve to between $20 billion and $25 billion. The 10% annual dividend on the company’s $40 billion preferred shares could be reduced to zero, a key comfort to ratings agencies.

With the latest move, AIG will have the benefit of up to $70 billion from the TARP program; it got a $40 billion TARP investment in November. The total amounts to 10% of the $700 billion financial-sector rescue fund, money that most lawmakers did not expect would go toward propping up a troubled insurer. Officials believed they had little choice but to use the TARP money, particularly because they lack the authority to unwind a troubled firm such as AIG the way the government can do now with failing banks.

Too much is never enough? Not for AIG!

And the government isn’t necessarily finished providing support. Government officials are expected to continue assisting AIG as needed in order to help the company shrink and dispose of some of its businesses, according to people familiar with the matter.

Reading about the bailouts, the spendulus and the omnibus bill is like watching reruns of Shaun of the Dead, only that the zombies are the ones getting rewarded.

And us the living are the ones paying for it all.

UPDATE
How Washington can prevent ‘zombie banks’. Prevent? Isn’t that a little late?

Make no mistake: the markets are responding to these spendthrift policies. Right now the Dow opened 132 down, and is now at 6,930, below 7,000 for the first time since October 1997.

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Should America Bail Out AIG’s ‘Sharia’ Finance?

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Should America Bail Out ‘Sharia’ Finance?

On September 17, 2008, the U.S. News and World Report magazine reported on how the “Federal Reserve extended an $85 billion loan to American International Group to be paid back as AIG sells off some business in the biggest government takeover so far in the ongoing credit crisis.” What the American public hasn’t seen yet is what AIG is going to sell off in terms of its business. According to the September 16, 2008 press release by the Federal Reserve on this bailout, the “U.S. government will receive a 79.9 percent equity interest in AIG and has the right to veto the payment of dividends to common and preferred shareholders.”

But while the U.S. taxpayers are loaning money to AIG and the U.S. holds a nearly 80% equity interest in AIG, no one in the government seems concerned that AIG is continuing to expand its Sharia finance business. Less than a week after the government bailout of AIG, Reuters reported on how AIG’s unit American International Assurance Co (AIA) was awarded an “international takaful (Islamic insurance) license” by the Malaysian government. AIG’s American International has been selling Sharia-based “Islamic insurance” for at least two years, through its AIG Takaful division, since its October 1, 2006 announcement, with a stated goal to sell such Sharia financial instruments in the United States. AIG SunAmerica, AIG Financial Services Corp, and other divisions of AIG also are dealers in Sharia mutual trusts.

The day before the AIG bailout was being announced, the Center for Security Policy’s (CSP) Frank Gaffney published his concerns about this growing financial institutional problem of “Shariah-Compliant Finance (SCF)” in an article entitled “Into the Fire.” In his article, Mr. Gaffney references David Yerushalmi’s study “Sharia’s Black Box: Civil Liability and Criminal: Exposure Surrounding Shari’ah-Compliant Finance,” which details the lack of financial transparency inherent in Sharia finance, and how such lack of transparency could lead to financial institutions being used to support terrorism and reverse money laundering. Moreover, as Mr. Gaffney, the current financial crisis will allow Islamist nations to buy “up engines of our capital markets for pennies on the dollar,” and "[w]orse yet, they are, in the process, putting themselves in a position to promote Shariah-Compliant Finance and the seditious theo-political agenda it serves.”

Sharia finance is not just “business.” Sharia finance exists to promote an expansionist, supremacist ideology; it is not merely “business,” but is “business with an agenda.” As I addressed in my November 14, 2007 article “Dow Jones, Wall Street Journal, and Islamist Financing,” organizations promoting Sharia finance have employed individuals such as former Dow Jones’ advisor Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani, who have called for Jihad. As Alex Alexiev has stated, “far from being an innocent venture in free market capitalism, Islamic finance was conceived and is practiced as one of the key instruments of the militant Islamist movement in its struggle against the West." As reported by Alex Alexiev, Alyssa A. Lappen, Lt. Col. Jonathan D. Halevi, and others, Shariah finance zakat can be used to promote Jihad warfare. As addressed by Allyson Rowen Taylor and others, Sharia finance is anything but simply “business,” as has been addressed in multiple articles on this subject.

Go read the rest.

Bonus reading, via Center for Security Policy:
AIG Sharia compliance certificate
Harvard goes Halal
The Risky Business Of Islamic Finance
Sharia showdown on Wall Street
and last but not least, Takaful presentation.

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