AIG Posts Loss, Gets Additional Treasury Aid
The Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury announced Monday they will come to the rescue of American International Group Inc. (AIG), once again. The Fed and Treasury's agreement to restructure government support for AIG was unveiled as the insurance giant reported an eye-popping $24.47 billion in third-quarter losses. Under the restructured plan, the Treasury will invest $40 billion in newly-issued, preferred shares of the New York-based firm, and the Fed will create two new lending companies through which AIG will be able to discard toxic assets from its balance sheet -- part of a comprehensive effort to aid the "systematically important company," according to Treasury officials in a press statement. Before Monday's announcement, the Fed had agreed in recent months to make nearly $123 billion available to AIG -- $85 billion initially, and then an additional installment of 37.8 billion. The Fed said the new plan will "allow the Federal Reserve to reduce from $85 billion to $60 billion the total amount available under the credit facility established" in September. The plan calls for the New York Fed to lend a combined $52.5 billion to two limited-liability companies that will take over collateralized debt obligations and residential mortgage-backed securities from AIG. The companies will work much like the one created by the Fed to buy assets from failed bank Bear Stearns after its sale to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) , according to a Market Watch report. The Fed said the new measures establish a "more durable capital structure, resolve liquidity issues, facilitate AIG's execution of its plan to sell certain of its businesses in an orderly manner, promote market stability, and protect the interests of the U.S. government and taxpayers." Senior Fed officials said the additional help is possible because of the powers granted to the government -- to buy shares in companies and purchase bad assets -- as part of October's rescue package. As outlined by the Economic Emergency Stabilization Act, the Treasury said it will enforce "the most stringent limitations" on executive compensation for its top five senior executives and require golden parachute limitations and a freeze on the size of the annual bonus pool for the top 70 executives. The total value of the new plan amounts to $150 billion and marks the largest government support package to a private company in history, according to a report by MarketWatch. As the government vowed to restructure its help for AIG, the insurance company reported a third-quarter loss of $24.7 billion, equal to $9.05 a share, compared to its $3.09 billion profit in the third-quarter last year. AIG attributed its losses to restructuring and financial dislocation in global markets. Write to Kelly Curran at email@example.com. Disclosure: The author held no relevant investment positions when this story was published. Indirect holdings may exist via mutual fund investments. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.