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S. HRG. 111–809 TARP AND OTHER GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE FOR AIG HEARING BEFORE THE CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ONE HUNDRED ELEVENTH CONGRESS SECOND SESSION MAY 26, 2010 Printed for the use of the Congressional Oversight Panel smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING ( VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 6011 Sfmt 6011 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 6019 Sfmt 6019 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 TARP AND OTHER GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE FOR AIG S. HRG. 111–809 TARP AND OTHER GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE FOR AIG HEARING BEFORE THE CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ONE HUNDRED ELEVENTH CONGRESS SECOND SESSION MAY 26, 2010 Printed for the use of the Congressional Oversight Panel ( U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WASHINGTON smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 63–515 : 2010 For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office Internet: bookstore.gpo.gov Phone: toll free (866) 512–1800; DC area (202) 512–1800 Fax: (202) 512–2104 Mail: Stop IDCC, Washington, DC 20402–0001 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 5011 Sfmt 5011 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT PANEL PANEL MEMBERS ELIZABETH WARREN, Chair J. MARK MCWATTERS KENNETH TROSKE RICHARD H. NEIMAN smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING DAMON SILVERS (II) VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 5904 Sfmt 5904 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 CONTENTS Page smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING Statement of Elizabeth Warren, Chair, Congressional Oversight Panel ............ J. Mark McWatters, Member, Congressional Oversight Panel ............................ Damon Silvers, Member, Congressional Oversight Panel .................................... Kenneth Troske, Member, Congressional Oversight Panel .................................. Scott G. Alvarez, General Counsel, Federal Reserve Board ................................ Thomas C. Baxter, Jr., General Counsel and Executive Vice President of the Legal Group, Federal Reserve Bank of New York ...................................... Sarah Dahlgren, Executive Vice President, Special Investments Management and AIG Monitoring, Federal Reserve Bank of New York ............................... Michael E. Finn, Northeast Regional Director, Office of Thrift Supervision ...... Robert Willumstad, Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, American International Group, Inc. ..................................................................................... Martin Bienenstock, Partner and Chair of Business Solutions and Government Department, Dewey & LeBoeuf ................................................................ Statement of Rodney Clark, Managing Director, Insurance Ratings, Standard & Poor’s ................................................................................................................. Michael Moriarty, Deputy Superintendent for Property and Capital Markets, New York State Insurance Department ............................................................. Clifford Gallant, Managing Director, Property & Casualty Insurance Research, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods ....................................................................... Robert Benmosche, President and Chief Executive Officer, American International Group, Inc. ............................................................................................. Jim Millstein, Chief Restructuring Officer, U.S. Department of the Treasury .. Keith M. Buckley, CFA, Group Managing Director, Global Insurance, Fitch Ratings .................................................................................................................. (III) VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 5904 Sfmt 0483 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 1 5 10 14 18 40 41 58 76 113 120 132 155 164 196 231 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 5904 Sfmt 0483 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 HEARING ON TARP AND OTHER GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE FOR AIG WEDNESDAY, MAY 26, 2010 U.S. CONGRESS, CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT PANEL, Washington, DC. The Panel met, pursuant to notice, at 10:00 a.m., in room SD– 342, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC, Elizabeth Warren, (chair of the panel) presiding. Present: Ms. Elizabeth Warren (presiding), Mr. Damon Silvers, Mr. J. Mark McWatters, and Dr. Kenneth Troske. smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING OPENING STATEMENT OF ELIZABETH WARREN, CHAIR, CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT PANEL Chair WARREN. I call this hearing to order. Good morning. My name is Elizabeth Warren. This is the 20th public hearing of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Before we begin, I’d like to note the presence of our newest panel member, Professor Kenneth Troske. Welcome. We are glad to have you join us and we look forward to your contributions on this panel. So I’m here today as the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel but that is not my only job. I am also a law professor and in that role I’ve taught bankruptcy for nearly 30 years now. Bankruptcy’s an enormously complicated field with enough subtleties to fill thousands of pages, but the essentials could fit on the back of a napkin. In short, there are times when businesses fail and when they do someone has to pick up the pieces. When a company digs itself in so deeply in debt that it cannot escape, then our legal system provides a set of strict and simple rules to force the business to bear as much of the cost of that failure as possible and to minimize the impact on others. Of these rules, two are paramount. When there’s not enough money to go around, the shareholders are wiped out and, second, the business creditors lose money and, depending on how deep that hole is, they may lose a great deal of money. The rules may seem harsh but they are fundamental to the functioning of a free market. After all, the parties that gain the most when a business succeeds should be the parties who lose the most when a business fails. As I open today’s hearing, I list the rules of bankruptcy because we are about to examine a bankruptcy that broke all the rules. In fact, the rescue of AIG was so extraordinary that it bypassed the (1) VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6633 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 2 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING entire process of bankruptcy. In saving AIG, the Government invented a new process out of whole cloth, a parallel set of rules devised and executed for the benefit of only one company. By the time the Federal Government intervened in late 2008, AIG’s stock price had plummeted 79 percent in two weeks. The sharp decline in mortgage-linked asset prices and the failure of Lehman Brothers had led to staggering collateral calls from AIG’s counterparties and AIG simply did not have enough cash to pay everyone in full. The next steps ordinarily would have been straightforward. Under the rules that apply to everyone else in America, AIG shareholders should have lost everything and its creditors should have taken substantial losses. Yet, even today, AIG continues to trade on the New York Stock Exchange and no creditor lost a penny on its dealings with the company. Put another way, under the rules that apply to everyone else in America, the cost of AIG’s mistakes should have been borne by AIG and its creditors, but under this new ad hoc set of rules, the cost of AIG’s mistakes were borne by the rest of us, the American taxpayers. To be clear, I do not mean to suggest that traditional bankruptcy would have been the best or most appropriate choice for AIG. The company was a corporate Frankenstein, a conglomeration of banking and insurance and investment interests that defy regulatory oversight and that would not have fit easily into the existing bankruptcy structure. Its complexity, its systemic significance, and the fragile state of the economy may all arguably have been reasons for unique treatment, but no matter the justification, the fact remains that AIG’s rescue broke all the rules and each rule that was broken poses a question that must be answered. Today’s hearing is an effort to find those answers as well as to determine how taxpayer money was spent and how it might one day be repaid. This hearing is the culmination of months of preparatory work on the part of the panel and our staff and it will serve as the foundation for our forthcoming June Oversight Report. We will begin this hearing by having testimony from officials who, during the crisis of 2008, made the fateful decision that set the course for the Government’s future involvement in AIG. We will then hear about the aftermath of those choices and about AIG’s prospects of continuing operations and repayment for the American taxpayer. I want to express our sincere gratitude to our witnesses for their willingness to share their knowledge and their perspectives. [The prepared statement of Chair Warren follows:] VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6633 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6633 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 12 here 63515.001 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 3 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6633 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 13 here 63515.002 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 4 5 Chair WARREN. Before we proceed with the testimony, I’d like to offer my colleagues on the panel an opportunity to make their own opening remarks. Mr. McWatters. smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING STATEMENT OF J. MARK MCWATTERS, MEMBER, CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT PANEL Mr. MCWATTERS. Thank you, Professor Warren. I very much appreciate the attendance of the witnesses and I look forward to hearing their testimony. The rescue of AIG has required the allocation of more taxpayerfunded resources than any other bailout undertaken by the Government since the inception of the current economic crisis. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the TARP investment in AIG will cost the taxpayers $36 billion out of $70 billion committed or disbursed, and the Office of Management and Budget has projected that the investment will cost the taxpayers $50 billion. Since our national resources are limited, the bailout of AIG will unfortunately require the Government to reduce the expenditures, increase tax revenue, or both. The American taxpayers were told in the last quarter of 2008 that they had no choice but to bail out AIG because, absent such action, the world financial system might very well collapse due to the systemic risk presented by and the financial interconnectedness of AIG. That may indeed have been an accurate assessment, but it’s critical to note that the world financial system does not consist of a single monolithic institution but, instead, is comprised of an array of too-big-to-fail financial institutions, many of which, interestingly, were also counterparties on AIG credit default swaps and securities lending transactions. In other words, the concept of a world financial system is really just another term for the biggest of the big financial institutions and there remains little doubt to me that the principal purpose in bailing out AIG was to save these institutions as well as AIG’s insurance business from bankruptcy or liquidation. It is ironic that although the bailout of AIG may have rescued many of its counterparties, none of these institutions are willing to share the pain of the bailout with the taxpayers and accept a discount on the termination payments. Instead, they left the American taxpayers with the full burden of the bailout. It is likewise intriguing that these too-big-to-fail institutions were paid at par, that is, 100 cents on the dollar, at the same time the average American’s 401(k) and IRA accounts were in free fall, unemployment rates were skyrocketing, and home values were plummeting. It is also critical to recall at this time that many of the AIG counterparties were most likely experiencing their own severe liquidity and insolvency challenges and were under attack from short sellers and purchasers of credit default swaps over their debt instruments. By receiving payment at par, some of the counterparties were able to convert illiquid and perhaps mismarked CDOs and other securities into cash during the worst liquidity crisis in generations. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 6 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING In addition, by avoiding the inherent risk in an AIG bankruptcy and the issues regarding debtor-in-possession financing, some of the counterparties were also able to accelerate the conversion of their AIG contracts into cash and in late 2008 cash was king. Although some counterparties may argue that they held contractual rights to receive payment at par and were the beneficiaries of favorable provisions of the Bankruptcy Code, such rights and benefits would have been of diminished assistance since, in late 2008, AIG was out of cash. It also appears problematic that AIG would have been able to obtain sufficient post-petition financing following the implosion of the financial system that, according to the wisdom of the day, would have followed the bankruptcy of AIG. Thus, without the taxpayer-funded bailout, AIG would have held insufficient cash to honor in full its contractual obligations, notwithstanding the special rights and benefits afforded the counterparties. In light of this reality, it does not appear inappropriate for the taxpayers to expect a discount to par upon the termination of AIG’s contracts with those counterparties who held the referenced securities but were not otherwise fully hedged against AIG-related risk with posted cash collateral. I appreciate that senior management and counsel of some of the AIG counterparties may cite standards of fiduciary duty as a defense to their unwillingness to accept a discount to par. It is quite possible, however, that these officers owed a higher fiduciary duty which was to save their institution from the very real threat of bankruptcy or liquidation that existed in the final quarter of 2008. After all, who can forget the photograph of the $2 bill taped to the door of Bear Stearns’ New York office? That image, like Charles Dickens’ ‘‘Ghost of Christmas Future,’’ told the story of what would come to pass for other financial institutions, such as AIG and its counterparties, absent the intercession of the American taxpayers. In the dark days of late 2008, when AIG faltered, the American taxpayers, not the New York Fed, not Treasury, stood as the last safe harbor for many of these financial Institutions and much of today’s Main Street versus Wall Street debate would have never arisen if Wall Street had properly acknowledged the American taxpayers as its sole benefactor. As such, after the bailouts, it has become exceedingly difficult for many Americans to accept that what’s good for Wall Street is necessarily good for Main Street. Thank you for joining us today, and I look forward to our discussion. [The prepared statement of Mr. McWatters follows:] VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 20 here 63515.003 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 7 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 21 here 63515.004 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 8 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 22 here 63515.005 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 9 10 Chair WARREN. Thank you, Mr. McWatters. Deputy Chair Silvers. smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING STATEMENT OF DAMON SILVERS, MEMBER, CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT PANEL Mr. SILVERS. Thank you, Chair Warren. Good morning. This is the third hearing that our panel has held on assistance provided to a particular firm. Before I discuss the firm itself, I want to note, together with my fellow panelists, our gratitude to both this panel and the panels that follow for being with us today. I think we have an extraordinarily comprehensive set of witnesses in relation to the events we are interested in. I want to particularly note that this panel is comprised of individuals whom have spent a tremendous amount of time with our oversight panel in helping us understand these events and lest I be misunderstood in what I’m going to say following these remarks, I want to be clear that I believe that the United States owes a great debt of gratitude to the individuals before us who have dedicated their careers, for decades in some cases, to serving the public in the context of the financial sector where, obviously, great rewards await those who serve themselves only. And these individuals were faced in this matter of AIG with a profound crisis outside of their experience and outside of really the experience of the institutions they were helping to lead. And in the course of our oversight work, I think it’s very important that nothing that we say or I say be understood to be in any sense anything other than our doing our job in the context we’re doing it. There’s no doubt that these individuals, and I note here that these are individuals whose names are not famous and who do a lot of work that doesn’t often get a lot of credit, that these individuals have served their country admirably and it gives me great pleasure to have the opportunity to say that. Now, there are a lot of good reasons for us to focus on AIG. AIG received more TARP funds, as my colleague Mr. McWatters notes, AIG received more TARP funds than any other beneficiary and is the largest continuing holder of TARP funds in the financial system, but it’s not really the size of the AIG bailout that has, I think, driven the continuing controversy associated with it. That controversy is really driven by several factors. One is the complexity and opacity associated with the collapse and bailout of AIG, and the way in which AIG was at the center of—and I think Mr. McWatters talked about this in a very compelling way—at the center of a web of relationships among large financial institutions, including, notably, the firm of Goldman Sachs and a group of French banks. Another reason that the AIG bailout looms large over the TARP are the implications of the bailout in terms of the degree that the public turns out to have been guaranteeing the shadow banking system, an outcome that I think ex ante, sort of before the fact, would appear to be completely inappropriate. I think we’ve heard about how the central facts in the collapse of AIG were AIG’s collateral obligations under credit default swaps, a kind of unregulated bond insurance, and AIG’s obligations under some securities lending transactions. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 11 The public made good on these obligations, arguably signaling that these completely unregulated markets had a better quality government guarantee than an FDIC-insured bank account which, after all, has a relatively low limit of insurance, or a PBGC-insured pension, again which has a very low limit, not running into the billions of dollars. These are two of the most heavily-regulated financial obligations in our system. They’re only partially guaranteed. It turns out that a credit default swap, at least in the AIG context, turned out to be a 100 percent guarantee. Now, I have a further interest, and I think the Congress and the public ought to have a further interest in AIG for a completely different and sort of ironically opposed reason, and that is that the AIG bailout represented a model for how to at least significantly impair equity, if not, as our chair has pointed out, wipe it out, in that the Government, in exchange for rescuing AIG, took 80 percent of the equity of the firm upfront. It has been a continuing puzzlement to me in my capacity in this oversight panel that that was not the model for dealing with, shall we say, systemically-significant failing institutions going forward. Now, so I think there are four questions that need to be addressed in our work here and in doing so, I want to make clear that I just do not agree with and think it is inconsistent with any meaningful oversight to accept the proposition that in this matter, or any other matter, the choices facing the Government were to do exactly what the Government actually did or do nothing. I do not believe that is an adequate way to think about either AIG or any other matter in which our Government takes action. So I’ll run through the four questions quickly. The first question is, why did it turn out not to occur? Why did a private bailout of AIG not occur under the leadership of the New York Fed? Two, and this has been discussed by my fellow panelists, why did it turn out not to occur that there was any haircut asked of those parties who were substantially rescued by the public? Third, and this question we may be in the midst of being answered today, third, where are the legal documents and why has the public not had access to the legal documents embodying the transactions that the public bailed out? I understand that we are in the process, the Panel is in the process, of receiving these documents from AIG today. I hope that turns out to be true and complete. Fourth, and I mentioned this earlier, why was the AIG model in relation to the equity taken, not the model for other failed institutions? And finally, obviously, we need to address, and we will address, what course of action from here going forward is likely to produce the best risk-adjusted return to the public for our funds we have invested in AIG, and to what extent does AIG remain a threat to the financial system? We have set aside an entire day for this hearing which hopefully will allow us to explore these questions in some depth, and I look forward to hearing from our witnesses. Thank you. [The prepared statement of Mr. Silvers follows:] VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 29 here 63515.006 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 12 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 30 here 63515.007 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 13 14 Chair WARREN. Thank you. And now we will hear from our fourth panelist, Professor Troske. smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING STATEMENT OF KENNETH TROSKE, MEMBER, CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT PANEL Dr. TROSKE. Thank you, Professor Warren. As Professor Warren mentioned, my name is Ken Troske. As many of you know, I am the newest member of the Congressional Oversight Panel, having been appointed to the Panel all of last Thursday by Senator Mitch McConnell to fill the vacancy left by Paul Atkins’ departure. As a way of introduction, I am also the William B. Sturgill Professor and the Chairman of the Economics Department at the University of Kentucky. Since this is my first hearing and since I have been preparing for it since Thursday, I am going to keep my opening remarks brief and fairly general. Let me start out by saying how honored I am at being appointed to the Panel. This panel has been given very challenging tasks, including monitoring how the money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program has been or is being spent and to determine whether these actions are in the best interests of the American economy and its people. I know the Panel has already done an enormous amount of work in the past 19 months to carry out this charge. Hopefully I will be able to provide some additional insight and energy as the Panel continues and hopefully completes these tasks over the coming year. I would like to thank Senator McConnell for appointing me to this panel. I would like to recognize Paul Atkins for his service on the Panel prior to me and thank him for helping familiarize me with the work the Panel has done in the past. I’m very grateful to my fellow panel members, especially Chair Elizabeth Warren and Mark McWatters, for helping me understand some of the issues that we’ll discuss today. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I would like to thank the Panel staff for their help in navigating all of the myriad of details involved in getting me on the Panel and actually getting me here today on short notice. I want to make clear that I strongly support what I understand is one of the main goals of this panel: increasing the transparency and the public’s understanding of the TARP. Given the size of this program, the speed with which it was approved, and the way the program has evolved over time, it is not surprising that many people remain confused and deeply suspicious of the TARP. I view this panel as an important vehicle through which the American people can gain assurances that this program was necessary and is being conducted in a manner that enhances the welfare of all citizens and not just a chosen few. I also believe it is important for the Panel to ensure that officials involved in the TARP learn from what happened so that we are not doomed to repeat this process in the future. I think all of us would agree that we want to avoid having the Government purchase in- VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 15 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING solvent private firms because of the fear that the economy will collapse if the firms fail. While I am not naive enough to believe that the Government or any organization, for that matter, can prevent future recessions, I do believe that by learning from the past mistakes we can be better prepared to deal with future crises. Let me conclude by thanking the witnesses who are joining us today. I appreciate you taking your time to come and help us better understand the events surrounding the Government’s decision to provide financial assistance to AIG. [The prepared statement of Dr. Troske follows:] VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 35 63515.008 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 16 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 36 63515.009 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 17 18 Chair WARREN. Thank you, Professor. So we will start with our first panel. I’m going to introduce everyone. Scott Alvarez is general counsel of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. Tom Baxter is general counsel and executive vice president of the Legal Group of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Sarah Dahlgren is executive vice president and head of Special Investments Management and the AIG Monitoring Group of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Michael Finn is the northeast regional director of the Office of Thrift Supervision. Robert Willumstad served as CEO of AIG from June 2008 until September 2008. Thank you all for being here with us today. I’m going to ask each of you to make opening remarks and I’m going to ask you to hold them to five minutes. I’m going to be fairly rigid on that just so that we can get all the way through the panel and have time for questions and for the panels that follow. So thank you all for being here. Mr. Alvarez, would you like to start? smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING STATEMENT OF SCOTT G. ALVAREZ, GENERAL COUNSEL, FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD OF GOVERNORS Mr. ALVAREZ. Thank you, Chair Warren and distinguished members of the Panel, for the opportunity to discuss the authority and role of the Federal Reserve with regard to AIG. Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act empowers the Board to authorize a Federal Reserve bank to extend credit to any individual, partnership, or corporation. Section 13(3) requires that, first, the Board find that unusual and exigent circumstances exist, (2) that the loan be authorized by an affirmative vote of not less than five members of the Board, (3) that the loan be secured to the satisfaction of the Reserve Bank, (4) that the Reserve Bank obtain evidence that the borrower is unable to obtain adequate credit accommodations from other banking institutions, and, finally, that the interest rate be determined by the Reserve Bank and approved by the Board. This authority was granted by Congress during the Great Depression in 1932 precisely to allow the Federal Reserve to lend to individuals and non-banking entities to relieve financial pressures that might otherwise lead to financial disaster. This type of lending authority is common among central banks worldwide and is considered an essential tool of central banks for providing liquidity during times of economic and financial stress in order to mitigate the effects of illiquidity and failure on broader markets and the economy. Each of the conditions established by Section 13(3) was met in the case of the loans extended by the Federal Reserve to AIG and to the two related Maiden Lane facilities. In particular, the economic conditions at the time of the lending were unusual and required expedited action. During the summer and fall of 2008, the U.S. economy and financial system were confronting substantial challenges. Labor markets were weakening and stresses in financial markets were high and intensifying significantly. Falling home prices and rising mortgage delinquencies had led to major losses at many financial institu- VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 19 tions, strained conditions in financial markets and the slowdown of the broader economy. Equity prices dropped sharply. The cost of short-term credit where it was available spiked upwards, and liquidity dried up in many markets. Tight credit conditions, the ongoing housing contraction, and elevated energy prices were seen as likely to weigh on economic growth for the foreseeable future. In early September 2008, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed into conservatorship. A little over a week later, Lehman Brothers, one of the largest investment banking firms in the United States, collapsed. The failure of Lehman ended any chance of securing a private sector solution for AIG within the time needed to address its critical funding needs. So on September 16th, one day after the collapse of Lehman and during this period of tremendous economic instability and financial turmoil, the Federal Reserve, in coordination with the Treasury Department, made a secured loan to AIG in order to avoid the potentially devastating and destabilizing effects on the economy and the financial system that would have attended the collapse of AIG. In the Board’s judgment and given the fragile economic conditions at the time, an AIG default during this period would have posed unacceptable risks for our economy as well as to the millions of individuals and businesses that were counterparties to AIG, including individuals who were insurance policyholders, state and local governments, workers with 401(k) plans, money market mutual fund holders, and commercial paper investors, as well as banks and investment banks in the United States and worldwide. With the financial system already teetering on the brink of collapse, the disorderly failure of AIG, the world’s largest insurance company, would have undoubtedly led to even greater financial chaos, further contractions in the flow of credit to businesses and consumers, and a far deeper economic slump than the very severe one we are experiencing today. As detailed in my written testimony, the other conditions required by Section 13(3) were also met for the revolving line of credit and for the loans to the two Maiden Lane facilities. In particular, the credits were each fully secured at the time they were made. Importantly, the loans are being repaid as AIG winds down and sells its businesses in an orderly fashion. Currently, the revolving line of credit has been reduced from a maximum of $85 billion to $35 billion. The outstanding balance on the loan to Maiden Lane II has been reduced from $19.5 billion to $14.5 billion, and the outstanding balance on the loan to Maiden Lane III has been reduced from $24 billion to about $16 billion. We expect the Federal Reserve will be fully repaid on each extension of credit involving AIG. While the conditions for use of Section 13(3) were met, a better option in our view, but an option that was not available to the U.S. Government at the time, would have been for the U.S. Government to have the authority to unwind systemically important non-bank financial firms. [The prepared statement of Mr. Alvarez follows:] VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 42 63515.010 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 20 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 43 63515.011 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 21 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 44 63515.012 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 22 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 45 63515.013 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 23 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 46 63515.014 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 24 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 47 63515.015 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 25 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 48 63515.016 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 26 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 49 63515.017 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 27 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 50 63515.018 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 28 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 51 63515.019 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 29 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 52 63515.020 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 30 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 53 63515.021 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 31 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 54 63515.022 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 32 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 55 63515.023 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 33 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 56 63515.024 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 34 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 57 63515.025 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 35 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 58 63515.026 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 36 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 59 63515.027 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 37 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 60 63515.028 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 38 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 61 63515.029 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 39 40 Chair WARREN. Mr. Alvarez, I’m going to have to stop you there, but your entire statement will be made part of the record. Mr. ALVAREZ. Thank you very much. Ms. WARREN Thank you very much. I made a mistake. Before we go to Mr. Baxter, I should have paused to note the absence of Panel Member Richard Neiman. All of us who serve on this panel do so in addition to our other responsibilities and for Mr. Neiman those responsibilities include serving as the Superintendent of Banks for the State of New York. Mr. Neiman felt that it would not be appropriate for him to be involved in our Oversight Report on AIG because this report will include an examination of AIG’s relationship with its financial counterparties and a number of those counterparties are regulated by the State of New York Banking Department. We miss his good counsel, but we understand that he is working to protect the integrity of the process. So my apologies for not mentioning that at the end of our last statement. We miss Mr. Neiman and will be glad when he can rejoin us on subsequent reports. With that, Mr. Baxter, could I ask you to give your opening remarks? smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING STATEMENT OF THOMAS C. BAXTER, JR., GENERAL COUNSEL AND EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE LEGAL GROUP, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF NEW YORK Mr. BAXTER. Chair Warren and Members of the Panel, thank you for the opportunity to testify about the role of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with respect to American International Group or AIG. Since September of 2008, the Federal Reserve has provided liquidity assistance to AIG in the form of an $85 billion revolving credit facility. Then, as market and economic circumstances changed and as we developed a deeper understanding of AIG’s unique and complex problems, we restructured that facility in a number of ways. Throughout this process, our goals have remained the same: to protect the financial system by stabilizing AIG and to prevent a loss to the taxpayer. Today, we are positioned to begin thinking of the day, hopefully not too far from now, when we will be fully repaid principal and interest and have no further role as a creditor of AIG. Many Federal Reserve and Treasury officials have testified about this general subject matter, including me. Today, I will focus on the crisis management decision faced by policymakers on September 16th, 2008. In my nearly 30 years as a Federal Reserve lawyer, I have been privileged to work on a number of different crises, including the Iranian Hostage Crisis, the Thrift Crisis, the so-called 1987 Market Break, the failure of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, the near bankruptcy of Solomon Brothers, the private sector rescue of Long-Term Capital Management, and the terrorist attacks of September 11th, which stand in a category all their own. My experience across three decades gives me a perspective on the context in which Federal Reserve policymakers needed to make VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 41 their decision concerning AIG. You cannot understand the decision without an appreciation of the crisis context. AIG came before Federal Reserve policymakers in the midst of the greatest financial crisis we have experienced since our Great Depression. In testimony on January 27th, 2010, before the House Committee on Government Oversight, Secretary Geithner described the policy choice as ‘‘whether to rescue AIG by putting billions of taxpayer dollars at risk or to let AIG fail and accept potentially catastrophic damage to the economy.’’ On the morning of September 16th, 2008, there were no other realistic options. Congress had provided the Federal Reserve with the ability to lend to a non-bank in exigent and unusual circumstances, provided the putative borrower had no other credit resources. If ever there was a situation where the circumstances were exigent and unusual, this was it, and the evidence that AIG had no alternative source of private sector credit was simply indisputable. Secretary Geithner also outlined some of the key crisis management features. He said that ‘‘action was required. The world was watching and the Government did not have the luxury of time.’’ He spoke metaphorically of the Federal Reserve as a kind of fire station and the decision was to put out the fire before it spread. On September 16th, 2008, to pick up the Secretary’s fire station metaphor, we had several major fires burning. The flames ignited in the U.S. financial system with the conservatorships of Fannie and Freddie, were burning fiercely when the Lehman fire ball exploded. When AIG came for a decision the day after Lehman’s bankruptcy, as Mr. Alvarez has pointed out, many neighborhoods were on fire and burning embers filled the air. This is the principal reason why the Federal Reserve needed to take action with AIG. In the unique time and context of September of 2008, it would have been unconscionable to allow another major blaze when you had a reasonable alternative. Our alternative was the revolving credit facility. Had the problems of AIG unfolded more slowly and apart from a broad market crisis, policymakers might have pursued additional information and solutions. They could have asked for more granular information about AIG creditors. They could have dispatched the Federal Reserve’s lawyers to explore a prepackaged bankruptcy or perhaps even asked us to begin contacting the largest creditors to see if they would consider some kind of voluntary restructuring of AIG debt, but these tasks would have consumed considerable time and, given the actual situation on September 16th, would have meant the immediate default of AIG and certain bankruptcy with all of its systemic consequences. Chair WARREN. Mr. Baxter, I’m going to have to stop you there, but your entire remarks will be part of the record. Mr. BAXTER. Thank you. Chair WARREN. Thank you. Ms. Dahlgren. smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING STATEMENT OF SARAH DAHLGREN, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, SPECIAL INVESTMENTS MANAGEMENT AND AIG MONITORING, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF NEW YORK Ms. DAHLGREN. Good morning, Chair Warren and Members of the Panel. Thank you for inviting me to appear here today. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 42 As the executive vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York responsible for the management of the Federal Reserve’s work to stabilize AIG, I welcome the opportunity to share with you some thoughts on those efforts. As my friend and colleague Tom Baxter just explained, beginning on September 16th, 2008, policymakers made the courageous choice to provide AIG with the liquidity that enabled its survival. As a result of that decision and the actions taken by the Federal Reserve and Treasury, we avoided the catastrophic consequences of a trillion dollar conglomerate’s bankruptcy. As the Congressional Budget Office noted in its May 2010 report, ‘‘If the Federal Reserve had not strategically provided credit and enhanced liquidity, the financial crisis probably would have been deeper and more protracted and the damages to the rest of the economy more severe.’’ Going forward from September 16th, as we learned more about AIG and as Congress provided the Treasury and the Federal Reserve with additional tools to stabilize the company through the passage of EESA, we took steps to restructure AIG’s debt so as to stop the increasing liquidity drain on the company. We altered the terms of our revolving credit facility and entered into the much-discussed and analyzed Maiden Lane II and Maiden Lane III transactions. We were motivated by two goals: financial stability and protecting the American taxpayers. Both of those goals required AIG to remain a going concern and AIG could not remain a going concern unless it retained an investment grade credit rating. Some have questioned our focus on AIG’s credit rating, but that focus is easy to explain when you consider the nature of AIG’s business. Financial firms like AIG are particularly dependent on the confidence of their customers. Customer confidence in an insurance company is based on reputation and credit ratings. Parents will not put their child’s future at risk by purchasing a life insurance policy from a poorly-rated company. A municipality will not trust its teachers’ retirement monies to a company with questionable credit, and a homeowner will not purchase a property insurance policy from a company unless the homeowner is confident the company will be able to pay a claim. No amount of liquidity can save an insurance company whose customers are fleeing. We needed to maintain AIG’s credit rating so that it could retain its customers and the value of its businesses. Two of those businesses, AIA and Alico, are currently under contract for sale for $51 billion. The cash proceeds of that sale and the cash AIG generates as it monetizes the non-cash proceeds of that sale will go directly to paying down AIG’s loans from the Federal Reserve. Those proceeds would not be available if we had not ensured that AIA and Alico remained going concerns. We fully expect to recover our principal and interest on the loans we made to the Maiden Lane II and III LLCs and on the revolving credit facility, and we are not alone in our expectations. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Federal Reserve will earn over $12 billion in interest over the life of the loans made to AIG under the revolving credit facility and that the losses on the VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 43 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING facility will be negligible because the Federal Reserve is fully collateralized. The CBO also estimates that the Fed will gain two billion each from its investments in the Maiden Lane II and III LLCs and notes that it expects positive returns because the Federal Reserve bought the Maiden Lane II and III assets at fair value. To date, the Maiden Lane II and III LLCs have repaid approximately 13.1 billion of the loans made to them by the Federal Reserve. What we set out to do on September 16th, 2008, stabilize AIG and protect the American taxpayer, we are doing. We are accomplishing our goals. I thank you again for inviting me to appear here today, and I look forward to answering your questions. [The joint prepared statement of Mr. Baxter and Ms. Dahlgren follows:] VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 71 here 63515.030 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 44 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 72 here 63515.031 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 45 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 73 here 63515.032 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 46 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 74 here 63515.033 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 47 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 75 here 63515.034 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 48 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 76 here 63515.035 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 49 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 77 here 63515.036 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 50 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 78 here 63515.037 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 51 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 79 here 63515.038 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 52 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 80 here 63515.039 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 53 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 81 here 63515.040 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 54 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00061 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 82 here 63515.041 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 55 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 83 here 63515.042 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 56 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 84 here 63515.043 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 57 58 Chair WARREN. Thank you, Ms. Dahlgren. Mr. Finn. smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING STATEMENT OF MICHAEL E. FINN, NORTHEAST REGIONAL DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF THRIFT SUPERVISION Mr. FINN. Chair Warren, Members of the Congressional Oversight Panel, thank you for the opportunity to testify today about the OTS Supervision of AIG. I am Michael Finn, regional director for the OTS Northeast Region. From January 2004 to August 2004, I served as OTS assistant managing director in Washington, D.C., for the newly-formed unit called Complex and International Organizations. This unit had responsibility for developing programs to coordinate the supervision of internationally active OTS-regulated holding companies, including AIG, that were subject to the European Union’s Conglomerate Directive. After my departure from Washington in August of 2004, the OTS continued to manage and supervise AIG from Washington until July of 2008 when the responsibility was transferred to the OTS Northeast Region where I reside today. My responsibility for AIG supervision ended two months later, in September of 2008, when the Federal Government made its ownership investment in AIG. Although the OTS no longer supervises the AIG parent company, the agency continues to supervise AIG’s thrift subsidiary, AIG Federal Savings Bank, which operates with $1.1 billion in assets today. My testimony includes details about the legislative history of OTS supervision of savings and loan holding companies, OTS supervision of AIG specifically, and OTS’s recommendations for holding company regulation in the future. In the time I have this morning, I’d like to just touch on a few points about AIG and its collapse. First, the legal framework for OTS authority to regulate holding companies was designed to ensure the safety and soundness of the underlying thrift institution, not primarily to protect holding companies from their problems. Although the consensus has developed that the United States needs a systemic risk regulator, the OTS never had that authority. To measure OTS’s performance as a systemic risk regulator would be to apply a yardstick that never existed. The supervision—that supervisory authority will not exist unless Congress establishes it. The OTS strongly supports the proposals in Congress to establish a systemic risk regulator. AIG Financial Products is the second point. It was a subsidiary of AIG that originated the credit default swaps that were part of AIG’s problems. It was operating long before OTS had any responsibility for AIG. AIG Financial Products began its operations in 1990. OTS became the regulator of AIG after the company applied for and received a federal savings bank charter in 1999. The bank, AIG Federal Savings Bank, opened for business in the year 2000. The third point is credit default swaps were and continue to be today unregulated products that lack transparency. As you know, Congress is considering proposals to require regulation of such derivative products and to improve transparency. The OTS strongly VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 59 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING supports federal regulation of derivatives and a greater transparency across this market. A fourth point. AIG Financial Products never had any business dealings with the OTS-regulated AIG Federal Savings Bank and had no relation beyond sharing the same corporate parent. Despite AIG’s near failure, the OTS-regulated savings bank today continues to operate as a well-capitalized thrift. The last point I would like to make today is that, based on our experiences with AIG, the OTS recommends the establishment of a federal insurance regulator for holding companies that are predominantly engaged in insurance activities, whether or not they be deemed systemic. We think it is prudent to align regulatory oversight with each holding company enterprise’s primary activities and to ensure clear authority to supervise risk across the consolidated insurance entity. Thank you again for having me here today, and I’m happy to respond to questions. [The prepared statement of Mr. Finn follows:] VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 90 here 63515.044 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 60 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 91 here 63515.045 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 61 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 92 here 63515.046 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 62 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 93 here 63515.047 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 63 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 94 here 63515.048 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 64 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 95 here 63515.049 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 65 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 96 here 63515.050 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 66 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 97 here 63515.051 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 67 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 98 here 63515.052 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 68 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 99 here 63515.053 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 69 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 100 here 63515.054 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 70 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00077 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 101 here 63515.055 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 71 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 102 here 63515.056 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 72 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 103 here 63515.057 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 73 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 104 here 63515.058 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 74 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00081 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 105 here 63515.059 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 75 76 Chair WARREN. Thank you, Mr. Finn. Mr. Willumstad is the only non-government official on this panel. We appreciate your being here because you have something important to say about that very same time period that we’re focused on. Your opening remarks, sir. smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING STATEMENT OF ROBERT WILLUMSTAD, FORMER CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP, INC. Mr. WILLUMSTAD. Thank you. Chair Warren and Members of the Congressional Oversight Panel, thank you for the opportunity to meet with you this morning. My name is Robert Willumstad, and from June 16 through September 16, 2008, I served as Chief Executive Officer of American International Group. In June 2008, when the Board asked me to replace Martin Sullivan as CEO, I was initially reluctant to do so. However, the Board ultimately persuaded me to accept this responsibility and I felt that my experience in the financial services industry, including my time as president and chief operating officer of Citigroup, put me in the position to successfully lead AIG in a difficult period. On my first day as CEO, I publicly announced I would present my long-term strategic plan for AIG in 90 days. This was an ambitious time frame for a strategic review of a company that in 2007 had one trillion in assets, a 110 billion in revenue, and which employed more than a 100,000 people in more than 100 countries and included a diverse array of businesses operating under scores of different regulatory regimes. To meet that schedule, the AIG team worked tirelessly and the plan began to come together. While we were formulating the plan, I took immediate actions. The markets declined further and it became apparent that if the decline continued and AIG were again downgraded by the rating agencies, AIG could potentially face a liquidity problem. The week after I became CEO, I retained a preeminent financial services firm, Blackrock, to provide an outsider’s view of AIG’s financial products exposure to mortgage-backed securities. I met with the rating agencies in July and they told me they would not review AIG’s ratings until after I announced our strategic plan which was then scheduled for September 25th. Even so, to be prudent, we immediately put in place a number of additional measures to protect AIG in the event of a liquidity problem. We worked through July and August to further strengthen AIG’s balance sheet should a crisis arise. We identified non-strategic businesses, retained financial advisors, and began the process of selling those businesses to raise cash. To conserve cash, we stopped discussions relating to a number of acquisitions. We developed and implemented an aggressive plan to further reduce expenses. We were negotiating a transaction with Berkshire Hathaway that would have protected billions of dollars of AIG’s liquidity. We were working with JPMorgan and other banks to obtain additional credit lines. These were precautionary steps. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00082 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 77 Through the first week of September we believed AIG could weather the difficulties in the financial markets and we believed we’d be able to announce and implement a new strategic plan on September 25th. In late July and again on September 9th, I met with the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to apprise him of the situation and discuss ways in which AIG and the Federal Reserve might work together in the event that a liquidity problem did arise. With the market melting down during the week of September 8th, the counterparties with whom we had been negotiating became unwilling to complete those deals. In addition, as the markets spiraled downward with Lehman and others under increasing pressure, the rating agencies indicated they would no longer wait to review AIG’s ratings until the investor meeting on September 25th. AIG was caught in a vicious circle. The potential for downgrades from the rating agencies and the market fears caused AIG counterparties on a securities lending program and other transactions, not just those related to the credit default swaps, to require AIG to post additional collateral or demand the return of cash or investments, further increasing the need for liquidity. We worked around the clock during the week of September 8th to take measures that would provide AIG the liquidity needed to make it through the crisis. We worked with potential private investors and new lenders. With the assistance of the New York and Pennsylvania Departments of Insurance and the Governor of New York, we were able to make available as much as 20 billion of additional liquidity but the private markets, even with the help of New York and Pennsylvania, simply could not provide enough liquidity. On September 9th, I met again with Tim Geithner and during the rest of the week I stayed in contact with the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department. On Tuesday, September 16, 2008, AIG was preparing for the unthinkable: bankruptcy. That afternoon, we met again with representatives of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Treasury Department. The regulators said they would provide the necessary liquidity because an AIG bankruptcy would have massive negative effects on the stability of the entire financial system. The terms of the offer were non-negotiable. After a long and detailed debate and with the advice of counsel and financial advisors, the AIG Board of Directors accepted the plan offered by the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department as the best available option. As part of that plan, I was informed by Secretary Paulson that I would be terminated as CEO. Though I would have liked to have continued to work for AIG and its shareholders, I complied with this requirement two days later. Due to my departure from the company, I do not have any knowledge of AIG’s subsequent business activities or of the manner in which AIG utilized the funds provided by the Government. I’m happy to answer questions, any additional questions the Panel may have. [The prepared statement of Mr. Willumstad follows:] VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 112 here 63515.060 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 78 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 113 here 63515.061 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 79 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 114 here 63515.062 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 80 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 115 here 63515.063 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 81 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 116 here 63515.064 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 82 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 117 here 63515.065 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 83 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 118 here 63515.066 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 84 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 119 here 63515.067 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 85 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 86 Chair WARREN. Thank you, Mr. Willumstad. Thank you all again for being here. I’d like to start with my questions. Ms. Dahlgren, I’ve read the joint testimony that you and Mr. Baxter submitted and it starts with September 16 and the crisis that you faced with AIG, but what I’d like to do is—I note in your testimony you say you knew precious little about AIG on September 16. I think those are the words in the testimony. When did the Federal Reserve Bank of New York understand that AIG posed some kind of threat to the economy? When did that occur? Ms. DAHLGREN. Going into the weekend of Lehman Brothers, on that Friday before the weekend—— Chair WARREN. I’m sorry. Let me just back up because I want to make sure, maybe my question’s not clear. Was there no sense that AIG posed a threat before the weekend of Lehman Brothers, before September 14? Ms. DAHLGREN. We understood—my position prior to taking on responsibility for the AIG Monitoring Team was in the Bank Supervision Group. We had, through discussions, been looking at the exposures to a broad set of counterparties of the institutions that, at that time, we supervised. We had a sense that there were things going on with AIG through those discussions but for the institutions that we supervised, AIG was not one of the top 10 exposures for those—— Chair WARREN. So you didn’t even think AIG was on the top 10 list of those that might be in serious financial trouble as of two days before it collapsed or faced imminent collapse? Ms. DAHLGREN. As it related to the institutions that we were supervising at the time, it was not the threat that you’re describing. Chair WARREN. All right. So there were—and you hadn’t heard— you collectively, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York had not heard from Mr. Willumstad at that point about any challenges facing AIG? Ms. DAHLGREN. I personally was not involved in that conversation. Chair WARREN. Well, do you know if others at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York were? Mr. Baxter, feel free to join in. Mr. BAXTER. During Lehman weekend, which began—— Chair WARREN. I’m still trying to get back before Lehman weekend. I want to find out whether or not—what kind of assessment of a problem there was before the 14th of September. Mr. BAXTER. Well, as Mr. Willumstad said, it began the week of September 8th which was the week that led up to what we at the Fed and the Treasury refer to as Lehman weekend. Chair WARREN. So the first inkling you had that AIG might pose a serious problem was a week before it faced collapse? Mr. BAXTER. Well, with respect to your question, you asked what you had, and I’ll answer from my own personal participation in this matter. My awareness of AIG’s problems began on or about September 12th. Chair WARREN. Okay. On or about September 12th. Mr. BAXTER. Which when—— Chair WARREN. Do you know—— VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00092 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 87 Mr. BAXTER [continuing]. Lehman weekend began. Chair WARREN. Do you know about the awareness of others, such as the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or others within the organization? Mr. BAXTER. I know that President Geithner was also concerned on September 12th because he had asked some of the staff to begin—— Chair WARREN. But you don’t know about—— Mr. BAXTER [continuing]. Looking at the AIG situation. Chair WARREN [continuing]. The concerns prior to September 12th? Mr. BAXTER. I’m not aware of any concerns. Chair WARREN. You’re not aware of any phone calls that Mr. Willumstad made or others made? Mr. BAXTER. I’m aware that Mr. Willumstad testified today and in his prior appearance that there was a meeting in July which I was not present for and that he also had contact with President Geithner earlier in the week of Lehman. Chair WARREN. But you never verified any of that—— Mr. BAXTER. I did not. Chair WARREN [continuing]. Through the Federal Reserve Board? Okay. You’ve described this binary choice, either it must be bankruptcy and collapse, as you describe it, or a 100 percent bailout. Mr. Willumstad said they were preparing papers for bankruptcy. When did you consult bankruptcy counsel to discuss alternatives for AIG? Either one of you. Mr. BAXTER. And I’m the one who should answer that question. If I can back up because you need to have some context for an understanding of the answer to that question? Over the course of Lehman weekend, we were working aggressively at the Fed in New York and also in Washington to try to find a solution for Lehman Brothers and, over the course of that weekend, we had called together a number of large financial institutions. Some of those financial institutions were involved in providing what was to be a private sector solution to AIG’s liquidity problems. Chair WARREN. Okay. So AIG, at least from the point of view of the Fed, the Fed now knew that there was a serious problem with AIG, but believed there was going to be a private bailout. Was the Fed a party to the negotiations over this private bailout? Mr. BAXTER. In the course of the discussions about Lehman Brothers, several of the senior officers of the so-called private sector consortium had said when Lehman came up—when AIG came up, that they were working on a solution to AIG’s liquidity problems. So those who were in the room at the time and heard those words, and I was one of those people, were mindful that there was a solution being fashioned for AIG’s liquidity problems. Chair WARREN. So let me just—you switched that to the passive voice. My question was the active voice. Was the Federal Reserve Bank involved in those negotiations for a private solution? Mr. BAXTER. We were not involved in the negotiations. We were mindful that they were going on—— Chair WARREN. All right. So your—— VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00093 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 88 Mr. BAXTER [continuing]. Because there were conversations in our presence about those negotiations. Chair WARREN. So your plan was that the private—the creditors, others, would take care of AIG, and did you have a Plan B in place in case that failed? Mr. BAXTER. Let me add to that, in addition, we had been informed by the insurance departments in New York and Pennsylvania, as well as by representatives of the Office of Thrift Supervision, that the private sector solution to AIG’s liquidity problems was not only underway but there was confidence that it would come to pass. Chair WARREN. So I take it that means there was no Plan B? Mr. BAXTER. Well, some would say that the Federal Reserve became the Plan B. Chair WARREN. I’ve got that part. Mr. BAXTER. Now, you asked me, Chair Warren, and I want to be responsive to your question—— Chair WARREN. Sure. Mr. BAXTER [continuing]. About when we involved bankruptcy counsel. Bankruptcy counsel, and I’m speaking about Davis Polk, had been engaged by the private sector consortium, along with Morgan Stanley, to work on the terms of that private sector solution. Chair WARREN. I’m sorry. Were they engaged as bankruptcy counsel? Mr. BAXTER. They were engaged to—not as bankruptcy counsel but engaged to—— Chair WARREN. They were engaged by creditors, is that right? Lenders to AIG? Mr. BAXTER. By JPMorgan Chase—— Chair WARREN. Right. And wouldn’t the last—— Mr. BAXTER [continuing]. Specifically. Chair WARREN [continuing]. Thing they would have wanted would have been bankruptcy? Mr. BAXTER. Well, I’m trying again to be responsive to your question. Davis Polk was working on the private sector solution. Davis Polk is a firm not only with banking expertise but also bankruptcy expertise. Chair WARREN. Did you ask them for bankruptcy advice? Mr. BAXTER. And at a later point, when we had engaged Davis Polk to take over and to work with the Fed on coming up with the revolving credit facility, among the professionals from Davis Polk who served us were not only banking experts and lending experts in the form of Brad Smith but also a bankruptcy expert who is Marshall Huebner. Chair WARREN. So let me make sure I understand this. So there were creditors, about to be creditors of AIG and, so far as you know, potential counterparties or counterparties to the counterparties who were trying to negotiate an arrangement with AIG and when that failed, and you used their lawyer in order to advise the Federal Reserve on what path to take forward? Mr. BAXTER. Well, the way I would answer that is, first, there were multiple creditors, 100,000 employees, and 106 million Amer- VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00094 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 89 ican policyholders who would be impacted if AIG should file for bankruptcy. So we were mindful of those situations. When we turned to Davis Polk, we had a matter of hours to deal with this decision of either lend to AIG to resolve its liquidity problems, avoid the catastrophic systemic consequences and the implications for literally hundreds of millions of Americans, that was one choice, or the alternative was AIG was going to file for bankruptcy. Chair WARREN. So let me ask just one more and then I will stop on this about bankruptcy, but Mr. Willumstad said that obviously AIG was talking with attorneys about the possibility of bankruptcy. Did you talk with the attorneys that AIG was talking with about the advice they were receiving on bankruptcy and as an alternative? Mr. BAXTER. We were talking to lawyers representing AIG at Sullivan and Cromwell, at Weil Gotshal. We were also talking to the lawyers we had newly retained at Davis Polk to get our own advice. Chair WARREN. So the answer is yes, you did, you talked with AIG’s bankruptcy lawyers to seek their views on whether bankruptcy or a negotiated arrangement was possible? Mr. BAXTER. I wouldn’t limit it, Chair Warren, to bankruptcy. I mean, we were in open dialogue with the lawyers. Chair WARREN. Fair enough. On many fronts. Mr. BAXTER. On many fronts. Chair WARREN. Bankruptcy was certainly one of the things you discussed with AIG’s lawyers? Mr. BAXTER. We understood that AIG’s Board had been assembled on September 16 and that Board was going to consider the options as they appeared on the—— Chair WARREN. I’m sorry, Mr. Baxter. That wasn’t my question. My question was did you speak with AIG’s lawyers about their advice about the possibility of bankruptcy or a negotiated settlement? Mr. BAXTER. And I personally spoke to lawyers at Sullivan and Cromwell about the board meeting that AIG was going to have and the decisions taken at that board meeting. Now one of those potential decisions, Chair Warren, could have been to file for bankruptcy. So to be clear, I had conversations with Sullivan and Cromwell lawyers about the board meeting and what might happen at that board meeting, including this prospect of a bankruptcy filing. Chair WARREN. All right. Thank you. Mr. McWatters. Mr. MCWATTERS. Thank you. Let me follow up on that a bit. Mr. Willumstad, when did you first advise the President of the New York Fed or someone else at the New York Fed regarding the problems at AIG? There’s a book by Andrew Ross Sorkin, ‘‘Too Big to Fail,’’ that says that President Geithner received an early warning. Mr. WILLUMSTAD. I want to put in context my conversations with Mr. Geithner. When I took over in the middle of June, I started in terms of preparation for a solution to the company’s problems. They were basically to deleverage and de-risk the company and as I kind of dug into a lot of the financial issues related to doing that, the securities lending program actually concerned me. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00095 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 90 The securities lending program, if there were a failure of confidence in AIG and AIG had had significant losses in the three previous quarters, I felt that we were really facing potentially a liquidity crisis and I went to see him on the basis of just good risk management and planning. I didn’t anticipate that we would have to use it, but I knew when and if a real crisis came about, it would be very hard in a short period of time for a very complex company like AIG, with the losses it was having, to raise capital in the private markets. So on July 29th, I went to see Tim Geithner and I explained to him what I had been doing at AIG and gave him a sense that I was just doing good risk management planning and that since the Fed had made the Fed window available to—after Bear Stearns to Lehman and Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, institutions that they traditionally had not regulated, would it be possible, if need be, could the Fed make its Fed window available in a time of crisis to AIG. We had a meaningful conversation. We talked a lot about issues and concerns. He indicated to me that he thought if there were a formal allowance by the Fed to allow AIG to go to the Fed window that it would in fact exacerbate what I was trying to avoid, which would have been the prospective run on the bank which is what the securities lending program effectively would have been if all of the lenders wanted their cash back. So I took that under advisement. He asked me to keep him apprised of how things were going and I left. So that was my first encounter with him on AIG’s issues. Mr. MCWATTERS. You know, I assume that the CEO of a publicly-traded company does not have a discussion with the President of the New York Fed unless something fairly serious is happening. So is it fair to say that on July 29th, 2008, that the President of the New York Fed knew that AIG had serious issues? Mr. WILLUMSTAD. Again, I want to position this properly. I would not have described to him that AIG was facing serious issues. I tried to explain to him that a series of events—and again AIG’s credit default spreads were widening. We had, as I said, suffered multi-billion dollar losses for several quarters. It’s not unreasonable to be concerned about what the longer-term prospects of AIG would be in terms of the environment that we were operating in and we certainly anticipated that we would have further losses. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay. Mr. Alvarez, Mr. Baxter, in the view of the Federal Reserve Bank, in the view of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is AIG today a solvent entity? Mr. ALVAREZ. So AIG does not have negative net worth. It has a positive cash capital. It is meeting the demand for loans as they come due. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay. Mr. ALVAREZ. So it does meet the traditional definition of solvency. It is repaying the Federal Reserve from the liquidation of assets in the Maiden Lane II and III facilities and also from the sale of its companies to repay the revolving line of credit. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay. So may I assume from that, and please correct me if I’m wrong, that AIG will not need any additional TARP funds? VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00096 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 91 Mr. ALVAREZ. So the question you’re asking there is whether we can predict in the future what might happen there. I’m not able to do that. Mr. MCWATTERS. Just what you think. Mr. ALVAREZ. I think right now they are on a path of sustainability, a path of repayment. That is the goal of the management of AIG. They’re working very hard in that direction and they are accomplishing the goals that we’ve set out for repayment of the facilities to the Federal Reserve. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay. So I gather your answer is you’re not sure, it might, but hopefully will not? Mr. ALVAREZ. No, I have no expectation that they will need additional funds. They certainly have not requested additional funds from the Federal Reserve. Our line of credit is set right now at a maximum amount of $35 billion. They have not drawn that full amount and, as I mentioned, they’re repaying the loan. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay, okay. I think my time is up. Chair WARREN. Thank you. Mr. Silvers. Mr. SILVERS. Mr. Baxter, is it correct in your judgment that the critical—that in light of what I think many have commented is the critical sort of characteristic of successful central banking and bank regulation, that there should be consistency over time, is it correct then to view the critical decisions in relation to the structuring of the rescue of AIG to have been those decisions that we were discussing a few moments ago, the decisions made over what you referred to as Lehman weekend and the few days that followed? Mr. BAXTER. First, Mr. Silvers, I would rather be right than consistent, and let me embellish on this. We made, as I pointed out in my opening statement, decisions in the context of an incredible crisis to provide liquidity assistance to AIG, and in furtherance of that decision to provide liquidity assistance to AIG in order to avoid the systemic consequences of failure to the American people, we would do it through a revolving credit facility along the lines of a term sheet that had been fashioned by the private sector consortium that was going to do that loan until Lehman failed on September 15th. When we got to know AIG better and while we got to experience the deepening crisis through the last two weeks of September and into October and, of course, everyone here will remember another significant development in early October was the enactment by the Congress of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, as we faced additional problems in our economy and as we got to know AIG, an institution that we never supervised, but as we got to know AIG, we started to think about ways that we could structure our credit assistance to AIG to better accomplish our objectives, which were to foster financial stability by stabilizing AIG and protect the taxpayers, and that led to Maiden Lane II and Maiden Lane III in November and it led to the additional transactions with AIA and Alico in March of 2009, as Ms. Dahlgren has pointed out. Mr. SILVERS. What I was getting at really was not that you didn’t make some changes in the structure of the rescue going forward but, rather, that—because there’s been some criticism about VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00097 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 92 not going back and re-examining the fundamental decision to ensure that the counterparties were paid 100 percent. There’s been some criticism of that not going back later in November and, you know, this panel has heard in the course of our work leading up to this hearing the assertion that really—that there’s a consistency that’s a fundamental value in these processes. Obviously getting it right is, as well, and that as a result, you kind of locked in on things, on fundamental decisions in September. Now this is—I just want to confirm that that’s the right way to think about this because it’s central to how we as a panel look at what decisions mattered and I think, in a sense, either that question of the 100 percent making whole is either opened later or it’s not and if it’s not opened later, then we have to look at the context it was made in September. Do you disagree? Mr. BAXTER. Well, I think you have to evaluate the decisions made on September 16 in light of the time available and the context made. Mr. SILVERS. Absolutely. Mr. BAXTER. Then if we go to later points in time and let’s take November 10th of 2008 as an example, when we restructured Maiden Lane III and we acquired into the vehicle at fair value the CDOs from a number of counter-parties, if you look at that decision today, and there’s information in the joint statement by Ms. Dahlgren and I on this very issue, the CDOs are now worth between six and seven billion more than the loan balance. Mr. SILVERS. Mr. Baxter, can I stop you right there? I want to look—— Mr. BAXTER. That’s a savings to the American taxpayer. Mr. SILVERS. I want to look then—I want to take your point and go back to September, to those circumstances, and the morning of September 16, all right, and by the morning, I don’t mean what most of us think of as the morning but I mean about two o’clock in the morning. All right. It’s my understanding that that is when the Federal Reserve Bank of New York learned that the private consortium was not prepared to fund, is that correct? Mr. BAXTER. I have to tell you that I did not arrive at the New York Fed until seven in the morning. I had been at the New York Fed through the weekend and went home to sleep Monday night. I arrived at seven in the morning. I don’t know of my own knowledge what happened at two. My belief, as I sit here before you, is that—— Mr. SILVERS. Yes. Mr. BAXTER [continuing]. The final confirmation with the private sector consortium, that they would not lend, they would not go forward with their term sheet—that occurred around that time, seven in the morning, on September 16. Mr. SILVERS. All right. You or Ms. Dahlgren or Mr. Alvarez, you may not know the answer to this question, based on what you just said, but exactly who delivered that information and to whom? Mr. ALVAREZ. I do not know the answer to that question. Mr. BAXTER. I know because I was at a conference call that took place at eight in the morning and by eight in the morning on Sep- VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00098 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 93 tember 16, 2008, we knew that the private sector consortium was not going to go forward. Mr. SILVERS. But it seemed—but you do not—you’re saying you do not know who delivered that information and to whom? Mr. BAXTER. I believe the information was delivered by Mr. Huebner. Mr. SILVERS. And who is that? Mr. BAXTER. Mr. Huebner is the Davis Polk lawyer that I mentioned earlier in an answer to the chair’s question. Mr. SILVERS. And this was a lawyer whom at that moment was representing the private sector lending consortium, correct? Mr. BAXTER. Yes, and was in the process of being reassigned to work on a new consortium. Mr. SILVERS. A lawyer with clients with potentially conflicting interests at that moment. Mr. BAXTER. And the conflicts were all waived, Mr. Silvers. Mr. SILVERS. Who were the two—am I correct in understanding that the leaders of this private sector lending consortium were JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs? Mr. BAXTER. That’s correct. Mr. SILVERS. And who were the other participants? Mr. BAXTER. I don’t think they had gotten far enough to figure out who they were going to syndicate the loan to, but there was certainly going to be a syndicate given the size, $75 billion. Mr. SILVERS. So when you talk about a private sector lending group, during this period over the weekend when, as I think has been said several times this morning, there was a belief that such a lending consortium was coming together, it was a consortium of two? I mean, who else did you think was going to be in on something that you appeared to be counting on? Mr. BAXTER. My understanding was there would be others. I don’t know who Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase intended to reach out to. The belief that this consortium was going to go forward was based in my mind on words that I heard from the chief executive officers of both of those institutions, on information coming to us by the state insurance departments, and the OTS, and confirmation from our own people that due diligence was being done by private sector representatives of this consortium on this liquidity facility. Mr. SILVERS. The chair has been kind enough to not interrupt me. I want to ask one more question. When Mr. Huebner contacted the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on behalf of JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs and said, sorry, fellows, no money from us, was there any further communication with those institutions about that decision? Mr. BAXTER. And I can only speak for myself. I had no communication with those institutions about that decision. Mr. SILVERS. To your knowledge, Mr. Baxter or Mr. Alvarez, Ms. Dahlgren, did anyone else? Ms. DAHLGREN. Not to my knowledge. Mr. ALVAREZ. Not to my knowledge. Mr. SILVERS. Mr. Baxter, you talked about your long experience in dealing with the number of financial crises on behalf of the Fed- VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00099 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 94 eral Reserve Bank of New York and in a certain sense on behalf of the public. In your experience in those contexts, is—when you’re trying to— when you’re pulling together the private sector to solve a problem that they’ve created of the type that AIG represented, is it typical to accept no as an answer? Mr. BAXTER. Well, I started out by saying there was nothing typical about the crisis—— Mr. SILVERS. Understood. Mr. BAXTER [continuing]. We were experiencing in September of 2008. Mr. SILVERS. But still, you have a lot of history with failing financial institutions that represent systemic risks. You gave a long list of them. Is accepting no what the Fed does? Mr. BAXTER. What is typical of a crisis situation in my experience, and I should always add that my experience has always been as a lawyer, so I always had the easy job in crisis situations of advising on the law, not having to make the substantive policy call, but let me say that the difficult decision in a crisis is to act on the basis of imperfect information and to act in sufficient time as to remedy the problem before you because you can always find a reason to wait. You can always find some basis to get more information, but the best crisis decision-makers are the ones who can act quickly. Mr. SILVERS. I wasn’t suggesting waiting. Mr. ALVAREZ. Could I add? Chair WARREN. We are very much over but 15 seconds, Mr. Alvarez. Mr. ALVAREZ. Thank you. I think it should not be understated how at the time folks were hoarding their cash, moving away from investments. The Federal Reserve has often been able to talk people into understanding risks and have them move forward. This was an unusual time. There was very strong pressure against what we were saying. We had no legal authority to force anyone to take actions they did not want to take and at this time in this economic circumstance, they did not want to provide assistance to a struggling firm. So there was nothing more that we could do, other than use the statutory authority Congress had already given to us. Mr. SILVERS. You all have been very kind and responsive to my questions. Thank you. Chair WARREN. Professor Troske. Dr. TROSKE. Thank you. I guess I have a question for Mr. Baxter or Ms. Dahlgren. You made the statement that—Mr. Alvarez, you made the statement that it appears that the Maiden Lane vehicles are going to in the end—GAO expects you to turn a profit from this, is that correct? Mr. ALVAREZ. I think it would be—— Dr. TROSKE. A substantial profit, a fairly—— Ms. DAHLGREN. Yes, and again that was the Congressional Budget Office. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00100 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 95 Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Excuse me. CBO. So then is it—presumably had the private sector created this vehicle themselves, they themselves would be sitting on a profit right now. So to the extent that they’re profit-maximizing enterprises and would like to make profit whenever possible, can we conclude that they made a mistake? Mr. ALVAREZ. So, of course, they made an assessment at the time about what was more important to them, having cash then, going into a very difficult and troubled time where they weren’t sure what the value of the assets would be, or selling the assets to the Maiden Lane facilities. The Federal Reserve has the luxury of being able to provide credit over an extended period of time to bridge from the difficult times to a better time and allow the asset value to come back. So they made an estimation. Whether it’s a mistake or not is—— Dr. TROSKE. So I guess my question is ex post. After the fact, would they have been better off using the money to fund this? Because in one of your testimonies you indicate that, you know, with Long-Term Capital Management you had to pull them in kicking and screaming, but in the end, they came out the other side better off and there’s—I mean, the Federal Reserve was actually founded as a result of private sector individuals intervening, JP Morgan intervening in a financial crisis, and I guess one of the things I’m struggling with throughout this is these private sector individuals are supposed to be sophisticated investors who I recognize were under a lot of pressure and there’s a lot of uncertainty. There’s no question about that. There was a lot of uncertainty and perhaps the Fed was better able to deal with that uncertainty. But it seems like in the past dealings, they had succeeded when they listened to you. Mr. ALVAREZ. And at this time they valued cash and reducing their exposure to AIG more than they valued the CDOs that they sold to us. Dr. TROSKE. I guess, Mr. Baxter, you mentioned that, you know, you didn’t have the luxury of time. What would you have done if you had the luxury of time? Mr. BAXTER. Time and tools. First, with respect to time, had we known of the liquidity problems being experienced by AIG at an earlier point and let’s say we had effective systemic risk supervision which hopefully we will have if the congressional legislation passes that’s before the Congress right now, but let’s say we had that kind of vision and we could see the problems emerging at AIG in, say, a year in advance, then you could have taken steps to provide for liquidity for AIG at that earlier point in time. So that’s one thing you could do, if you had the vision of the systemic risk off the bow at sufficient time so that you could steer the ship in a way that would avoid hitting the proverbial iceberg. That’s one thing. Another thing would be to have a special resolution regime, such as also before the Congress right now, that would enable us to effect an orderly wind-down of a systemically significant financial institution like AIG. So another thing is to have additional tools in the toolbox so that you could bring those tools to bear on a systemically-significant or- VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00101 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 96 ganization like AIG and deal with some of the fundamental problems that we had and we saw on September 16, addressing problems that we saw in AIG Financial Products and the linkage to the parent through the parent guarantee. If you had powers to deal with that, and hopefully in the new special resolution regime we will have those powers, then you could have additional choices. We didn’t have them on September 16. Dr. TROSKE. And so if tomorrow an AIG arises, tomorrow or two days from now, three days from now, would you do anything differently? Do you have the ability to do anything differently if another AIG—I mean, have you put in—given the current state of the world, has the Fed changed processes, something along those lines, that if another AIG arose very quickly, you would do the same thing, something different? Do you know how you’d handle it if that occurred? Mr. BAXTER. Well, the difficulty today is, and I’ll come back to the point I made earlier, that the Federal Reserve did not supervise AIG in any way. So it is possible tomorrow for an institution that we don’t supervise to also present a problem similar to the problem presented by AIG. Hopefully, though, whoever the supervisor is for that institution, as a result of some of the lessons learned during this financial crisis, has been focused on capital, focused on liquidity, focused on risk management, and is taking the steps needed to identify problems like we found in AIG in sufficient time to resolve them. Dr. TROSKE. I think I’m out of time. Chair WARREN. Mr. Finn, when did the OTS first understand that AIG was in some serious difficulty? Mr. FINN. AIG had been experiencing an adverse market reaction probably from back in the December time frame when they—— Chair WARREN. December of 2007? Mr. FINN. December of 2007. I believe it was that time frame when they reported that there were material deficiencies in their valuation of credit default swaps and there became increasing market concern about their practices. Chair WARREN. So that was the first clue that the OTS had that there was something wrong, was December of 2007? Mr. FINN. That was, I think, the first time that the market—— Chair WARREN. No. I’m asking the OTS. I can read the market. I want to know about the OTS. Mr. FINN. Yes. Well, that heightened the concern because we had done work throughout the course of that year looking at AIGFP, the financial products division, valuation practices. We became concerned that they were not where they needed to be with regard to the market values. Part of that is counterparties were seeking collateral based on their own valuation analysis of the collateral that backed those positions. Chair WARREN. So you thought there were at least signs that there was significant trouble with AIG throughout or some large part of 2007? Mr. FINN. So the troubles, I guess I’m alluding to here, are in the valuation practices in assessing the values of the underlying assets. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00102 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 97 Chair WARREN. Right. Mr. FINN. The CDOs behind the credit default swaps. Chair WARREN. Right. Mr. FINN. The liquidity concerns grew much more later into 2008 and really the focus there became more not so much on the value of the CDOs, that was part of it, but more the focus on the stability of AIG as a group. They did a capital raise in the May time frame, raising roughly $20 billion to satisfy the market concerns and for a time that was satisfying in terms of reducing the likelihood of a downgrade, but the events of the summer continued to progress and the market concerns continued to grow at AIG as well as many other firms. Chair WARREN. So you had valuation concerns and then liquidity concerns as we start moving into the spring/summer of 2008? Mr. FINN. I would say the liquidity was much more in the summer. Chair WARREN. In the summer of 2008? Mr. FINN. Yes. Chair WARREN. Okay. And what did the OTS do about it? Mr. FINN. At that time we had people onsite looking at their contingency planning. As part of our supervisory work from the latter end of the year that I had mentioned, we issued a supervisory letter to the parent company that downgraded the firm to a less than satisfactory rating, is the way that we describe it in our holding company supervision, and we directed them to undertake a series of corrective actions. Chair WARREN. So I just want to ask you. Now is this only for the financial—for the thrift, not for the larger—— Mr. FINN. No. This is directly to the AIG parent. So again, March of 2008 we downgraded the institution, the holding company, and issued a series of corrective actions that required them to work on those issues that we had identified later in 2007. Chair WARREN. Right. Now you say in your written testimony, I’ve gone through your written testimony, you talk about not having the regulatory tools that you needed during this time period, is that right? That you didn’t have large enough supervisory powers, is that right? Mr. FINN. There are, I would say, two aspects here. The supervision framework for thrift holding companies, as well as bank holding company regulation, is governed by GLBA which requires a respect for functional supervision. So we did not have the authority to go in and examine insurance companies that were regulated by other regulators. We did not have the authority to directly supervise the activities that were unregulated, like credit default swaps. Chair WARREN. So then let me understand because actually our staff pulled out the OTS, your, Holding Company Handbook and it directs your examiners to conduct, and I’m quoting here, ‘‘comprehensive assessment from the perspective of the consolidated regulator at the parent top tier organization within the conglomerate.’’ Now, I presume that means you do this on a regular basis and if I’m understanding your written testimony correctly, you’re saying the reason you couldn’t do this in the case of AIG is because VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00103 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 98 it was primarily an insurance company, is that—am I understanding this correctly? Mr. FINN. I guess I’m trying to describe the difference. If it was purely a banking firm that was owned by a thrift holding company, we would regulate both—we would regulate the entire entity on a consolidated basis. In an organization—— Chair WARREN. And that’s what this language would refer to? Mr. FINN. Correct. Well, no. It does require the OTS taking a view as a consolidated supervisor from the top down, but when there are diversified financial services companies, there are a multitude of regulators. In a situation like AIG, those regulators are both domestic and foreign. We would not have the ability to go examine the individual regulated entities that are underneath that. So we would rely on information coming from the respective insurers. Chair WARREN. So knowing that there were some difficulties, knowing that you did not have the capacity to see into AIG the way you could see into a bank holding company, when did you sound the alarm about what you knew you couldn’t see? Mr. FINN. Discussions were going on with the firm again throughout the—— Chair WARREN. Publicly or with other regulators. When did you make it clear that there was a problem here, that there was no one regulating this behemoth company? Mr. FINN. We at staff level, OTS staff that had done work on AIG had conversations during the—I guess it was the July/August time frame. Chair WARREN. July/August of 2008? Mr. FINN. July/August of 2008. Chair WARREN. With whom? With the Treasury? Mr. FINN. No, not with the Treasury. Chair WARREN. With the Federal Reserve Bank of New York? Mr. FINN. With the Federal Reserve at the staff level. Chair WARREN. So you were telling the Federal Reserve Bank of New York about this problem in July? Mr. FINN. There was an inquiry by an individual, I think it was an examining officer, that, you know, has relationships with other counterparties of AIG as to what was happening at AIG with regard to the credit default swaps. We arranged for a meeting in August, the early part of August, August 11th. Chair WARREN. This is a meeting with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York? Mr. FINN. On the staff to staff level, yes. Chair WARREN. In August of 2008? Mr. FINN. August of 2008. Chair WARREN. To raise your concerns about AIG and what it was that you could not see? Mr. FINN. What we shared with them were our views with regard to the liquidity situation and the capital situation at AIG because again the market across—the whole market at that time was becoming increasingly stressed. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00104 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 99 Chair WARREN. Right. And if you’ll permit me just one more so I can just wrap this up? Mr. FINN. Sure. Chair WARREN. And that is, were you or anyone at OTS a party to the negotiations of this private bailout that was being arranged through JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs? Mr. FINN. We had no involvement. Chair WARREN. Did you have any knowledge of it? Mr. FINN. We were informed at several points over the course of that weekend. Chair WARREN. That weekend, meaning September 14 to 15? Mr. FINN. The Lehman weekend, yes. Chair WARREN. Yes. Mr. FINN. So we knew that the Board was meeting with AIG over the weekend late through Sunday night to try to arrange a private transaction. Chair WARREN. Okay. So you were the principal regulator, but you were not party to the discussions, you simply knew that they were occurring and believed there was going to be a private bailout? Mr. FINN. We—again, up through Sunday night, AIG was still working on a private solution. We got word late Sunday night that that fell through. Chair WARREN. And from whom did you get—did you receive word? Mr. FINN. From the regulatory contact at AIG. Chair WARREN. All right. So the—your contact at AIG called you and said that the deal’s off. Do you remember when that was? Mr. FINN. It was probably around 11 p.m. that Sunday. Chair WARREN. On Sunday night? Mr. FINN. Again, Lehman, I think, if not, announced—was preparing to announce right at that time. Chair WARREN. Fair enough. And the call went to whom in your organization? Mr. FINN. That call came to me—— Chair WARREN. Came to you. Mr. FINN [continuing]. From the regulatory counsel. Chair WARREN. Okay. Thank you very much. Mr. McWatters. Mr. MCWATTERS. Thank you. Mr. Alvarez, Mr. Baxter, when the private sector bailout attempt broke down, was there any attempt to, let’s say, get the Secretary of Treasury, the President of the New York Fed involved in this process, to actually walk into the room and say, okay, guys, you’re at an impasse here, you must have two or three points, let’s see if we can resolve those? Was that attempt made or did that happen? Mr. BAXTER. First, with respect to Lehman weekend, which began at 6 p.m. on September 12, 2008—and that was a Friday evening—and it began with a meeting of a number of financial institutions, approximately 12, with the Secretary of the Treasury at the time, Hank Paulson, the Chairman of the SEC, and Tim Geithner, and those financial institution representatives, and they were represented at the highest level by their CEO in most cases, continued and stayed at the New York Fed through Saturday and Sunday. So that group was together. They were together for a spe- VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00105 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 100 cific purpose and that was to work on what was hoped to be the rescue of Lehman Brothers. Now in the course of those meetings, AIG did come up and in the course of those meetings, we had heard from two of the CEOs that a private sector solution was going to be done. Events changed dramatically when Lehman filed for bankruptcy shortly after midnight on Sunday, September 14, and when I say changed dramatically, I mean changed dramatically not only for Lehman Brothers, but the implications for the markets and for market participants were such that they were all protecting their balance sheets. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay. Mr. BAXTER. But the sense was it was futile at that point to call them back in to talk about a potential deal they had already rejected. Mr. MCWATTERS. Or how about a hybrid approach? What if the Secretary of Treasury walked in and said, look, let’s split the difference, there will be some government money, there will be some private money? Were those attempts made? Mr. BAXTER. Again, the problem as we saw it was a liquidity problem at AIG. We at the Fed had a specific tool, Section 13(3) which—— Mr. MCWATTERS. Sure, sure. Mr. BAXTER [continuing]. My friend and colleague has spoken about this morning—— Mr. MCWATTERS. I understand. Mr. BAXTER [continuing]. To address that liquidity problem. Mr. MCWATTERS. But there was no attempt to do a hybrid approach with the Government and the private sector, private/public? Mr. BAXTER. There was no time and there was—it was also felt that that could be counterproductive, given what we were seeing in the markets at the time. Mr. ALVAREZ. Mr. McWatters, if I could add quickly here? Mr. MCWATTERS. Yes. Mr. ALVAREZ. You know, we didn’t like being in this position any more than anybody else likes us having been in that position. We were not anxious. We were not interested. We were not looking to lend to AIG. In fact, that’s one of the reasons that we’ve been calling for a new resolution authority. It would have changed the dynamic if we had had the kind of authority that is now being considered by the Congress. We could then have been more forceful. We could have taken over the company ourselves and then the—not us, the resolver, would have been able to structure the losses across the creditors and across the shareholders in a better way. Mr. MCWATTERS. Well, what about a bridge loan, an $85 billion bridge loan for a 180 days with a 180 days to work out a prepackage bankruptcy of AIG, plenty of time to work with all the insurance regulators, put a private sector deal together, but like you said, not let the world fall apart? Mr. ALVAREZ. We did in fact provide a bridge loan, a two-year loan, for up to $85 billion, $60 billion of which was drawn down within the first two weeks. So it was not—they had a very severe VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00106 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 101 liquidity need, not just a $5 billion or a $10 billion liquidity need. They had an immediate need within 14 days of roughly $60 billion. They still—our loan did not prevent the private sector from subsequently coming in and restructuring AIG, making another loan and taking us out of the position. That was always a possibility. Our loan did not remove that possibility. Mr. MCWATTERS. But after September 16, did you then immediately shift and go into prepackaged bankruptcy mode, hire counsel, fire it up? Mr. ALVAREZ. That requires the creditors, of which there are thousands for AIG, to come to agreement and be willing to—— Mr. MCWATTERS. I know. Mr. ALVAREZ [continuing]. Do that and—— Mr. MCWATTERS. I know. Mr. ALVAREZ [continuing]. That’s not an easy task, as you know. Mr. MCWATTERS. It’s not easy, but it’s hardly impossible because it happens on a fairly frequent basis. Mr. BAXTER. And if I may point out that after September 16, my colleagues and I were quite busy with respect to other facilities, market-wide facilities that we had to bring to bear to deal with other market problems, like the problems in the commercial paper market, the problems that we were seeing with money market mutual funds. So the experience we were having between September 16 and year-end was we were dealing with a panic, and in dealing with a panic we had to do a number of things with—roll out a number of programs in very short amounts of time to deal with the implications of what we were seeing in the American economy during that period, things like the TALF, the commercial paper funding facility. Mr. MCWATTERS. Sure. I understand that. Mr. BAXTER. Money market mutual funding facility. We were rolling them out as quickly as we could. Mr. MCWATTERS. No. I also understand if you hire the right counsel, the right accounting firm, you turn them lose, interesting stuff can happen on a pre-pack. They might very well have been able to put one together. Let me shift a little bit to a question concerning the credit default swaps, and did the New York Fed press AIG not to release the names of the counterparties, Mr. Baxter? Mr. BAXTER. We did not. Mr. MCWATTERS. At all? Mr. BAXTER. There was never an intention to disclose the names of AIG customers and that’s what the counter-parties were. Mr. MCWATTERS. Right. Mr. BAXTER. These were customers of AIG. AIG never had an intention to disclose the names of those customers. What we were doing is we were commenting on AIG’s securities disclosures. AIG continues to be a public company today. It was a public company then. It had its own disclosure obligations. So when we looked at AIG’s draft disclosures on transactions we were doing with AIG, we had two purposes in mind. One was to assure accuracy, the other was to protect the taxpayer interest where we saw that interest at stake. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00107 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 102 Now, with respect to the counterparty names, there was never an intention to disclose those customer names and that was the starting position and so as we proceeded to deal with common thing on AIG securities disclosures, our perception was always—our perspective was always as I described it: assure accuracy, protect the taxpayer interest but not to conceal or hide. Mr. MCWATTERS. That may have been your intent, but it’s possible it was communicated in a way that was somewhat ambiguous and was construed and implemented in a different way. Mr. BAXTER. And Panel Member McWatters, I agree with you and one of the things that I take away as a lesson learned for Tom Baxter here is that if we should go through this again, we need to be more mindful of how our actions can be perceived, that our actions were done for the reasons I described, but I understand that it can be perceived as if we’re trying to hide and the lesson learned for me personally here is that we need to be mindful of that and perhaps change our behavior as a result of the perception, not the actuality. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay. I’m over my time. I have one other question. Would you release to this panel the copy of the minutes of the New York Fed which has to do with the recommendation by the New York Fed to the Federal Reserve Bank to extend $85 billion of credit? Mr. BAXTER. If I can ask for a clarification? The way the law reads, and the law is Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act, is the Federal Reserve Board provides authorization to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to make the loan. So with respect, I think the issue is the minutes of the Board of Governors deliberation on authorizing the New York Fed to make that $85 billion credit facility available to AIG. Mr. MCWATTERS. Well, let me ask you this. Was there a recommendation by the New York Fed to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors to extend the $85 billion loan? If there was a recommendation, who made that recommendation? Was it the President alone or was it the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York? If it was the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, I would like to see the minutes. If it was the President alone, I question whether or not the President had the power to do that, but that’s a different issue. Mr. BAXTER. At eight o’clock on the morning of September 16, 2008, in a conference call at which I was present, Tim Geithner, our President, in conversations with Chairman Bernanke and Secretary Paulson, recommended that the Board of Governors later in the day proceed to meet and authorize an $85 billion credit facility along the lines that we actually did. That took place orally. It took place in my presence. It happened. But later in the day, for legal reasons, the Board of Governors needed to meet and they needed to authorize in a vote as described by my friend and colleague Mr. Alvarez. Mr. ALVAREZ. Two quick points here. Mr. MCWATTERS. But as General Counsel of the New York Fed, does the President of the New York Fed have authority to make that recommendation alone? VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00108 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 103 Mr. BAXTER. Yes, there is a delegation from the Board of Directors to the President of the New York Fed enabling him to make discount window loans, so that the directors of the New York Fed do not get advance notice of particular lending decisions, and we can make available to you and to the Panel a copy of that delegation on which Mr. Geithner relied to make his oral recommendation to the Board of Governors on September 16 of 2008. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay. Fair enough. Chair WARREN. Mr. Silvers. Mr. SILVERS. Mr. Baxter, I just want to follow that up and just get to the last step. All right. So then-New York Fed President Geithner makes a recommendation to the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors votes to authorize the loan. The terms of the loan and the actual entering into the loan through the discount window under 13(3), how were those decisions made as a legal matter? Mr. BAXTER. As a legal matter, we had a term sheet and the term sheet was the one that was to be used by the private sector consortium. We took that term sheet and worked with it as the basic terms that we were going to request authorization on. One of them was changed and that is the amount of liquidity assistance went from $75 billion to $85 billion. Another issue for us in the course of the day of September 16 was the equity participation, the 79.9 percent equity stake in AIG. We had to talk through different avenues as to how we could take that. Mr. SILVERS. Mr. Baxter, I had a much simpler question. What is the legal act that enters into that contract? Who—is that an authority that the President of the New York Fed had? Did the New York Fed’s Board do it? Did the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System do it? Who had the authority to enter into the loan contract? Mr. BAXTER. Well, the ultimate revolving credit facility was between the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and AIG, but the New York Fed could only do that, could only enter into a contract with a non-banking organization to make this kind of extraordinary loan if it had expressed authorization from the Board of Governors. Mr. SILVERS. Did the Board of Governors authorize the details of the loan or did it authorize—did it give you a general authority to enter into a loan? Mr. ALVAREZ. The Board of Governors, and this is reflected in minutes that I believe—— Mr. SILVERS. Yes. Mr. ALVAREZ [continuing]. We provided to your staff, authorized an $85 billion revolving credit facility with certain terms that were enumerated in a term sheet that was provided to the Board. The actual contracts, though, the details about that are negotiated by the New York Reserve Bank and the document, the actual loan document is entered into between the New York Reserve Bank and—— Mr. SILVERS. And Mr. Alvarez or Mr. Baxter, who at the New York Reserve Bank has the authority to enter into that contract? Mr. BAXTER. The president of the bank. Mr. SILVERS. Okay. That’s what I wanted to understand. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00109 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 104 Mr. Alvarez, just to move from the very small to the very large—— Mr. ALVAREZ. Yes. Mr. SILVERS [continuing]. In the view of the Federal Reserve, is it a bad thing that market participants perceive that OTC derivatives are essentially guaranteed by the Federal Government? Is that a bad thing? Let’s hypothesize that people assume that after this sequence of events. Mr. ALVAREZ. Well, I think it’s a little broad to say that we guarantee OTC derivatives. That’s an entire market—— Mr. SILVERS. I’m not saying—I’m not saying that—I’m saying hypothesize that such a perception exists among some people. Is that a bad thing that such a perception exists? Mr. ALVAREZ. I do not want to disagree with you on the idea that too big to fail is a very bad idea. It is an idea that we at the Federal Reserve do not think is the right approach to have entering into a crisis and that’s why we’re trying very hard to get that changed. Mr. SILVERS. Understood. But I’m asking in a sense not about an institution but about a market, the OTC derivative markets, and am I fair to extrapolate from your comment that you think that should a person—should market participants believe that an OTC derivative is essentially a safe or safer than, say, an insured bank account, that that’s a bad thing, we don’t want people thinking that? Mr. ALVAREZ. Well, we’re not—nothing that we have done guaranteed OTC derivatives as a class. We did provide liquidity to AIG which was engaged in that. Mr. SILVERS. So, Mr. Alvarez, you agree that that would be a bad idea to guarantee OTC derivatives—— Mr. ALVAREZ. Yes. Mr. SILVERS [continuing]. As a class? Mr. ALVAREZ. I think it would be a bad idea. I do think—if I could quickly? I do think that there are markets where we think liquidity should be provided to allow the markets to continue to function. For example, the commercial paper market and other markets, money market mutual fund market, things—places where we have provided liquidity. Mr. SILVERS. Right. Mr. ALVAREZ. They’re different than guaranteeing the instrument. Mr. SILVERS. Yeah. Well, perhaps it’s different. I mean, but let’s establish that that would be a problem. Not if. Mr. Baxter, Ms. Dahlgren, Mr. Alvarez, in each of your testimonies you talked about essentially the contagion effect from AIG’s parent and AIG Financial Products to AIG subsidiaries whose obligations are in part guaranteed by state insurance funds. Does it—and the necessity of rescuing obligations of AIG’s parent which include the collateral payment obligations under OTC derivatives contracts, the necessity of doing so to avoid essentially a potential run on or a disintermediation of these guaranteed subsidiaries with, as you pointed out, millions of policyholders and pension funds and the like. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00110 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 105 If you take these two statements together, are they not a powerful and profound argument for ensuring that nobody who has that type of guaranteed obligation—an insurance company, a bank, nobody—has a large unguaranteed derivatives business on top of them that would provoke this type of choice in the future? Mr. ALVAREZ. You are exactly describing the moral hazard that comes with providing credit to an institution like AIG, and it does send the impression that large institutions that are organized in this way are going to receive government assistance. That’s something that we think should be—the government should be provided tools so that that does not happen again. Mr. SILVERS. But, Mr. Alvarez, I’m not describing that. I’m describing the pairing of these large Federal Government-guaranteed obligations, insurance contracts, you know, individual insurance contracts we all hold, bank accounts and the like, the pairing of those obligations with large OTC derivatives books. All right. This is a matter immediately in front of Congress and I just can’t see any way of reading the story you all have told, other than as a powerful brief for disaggregating those two businesses as is provided in section 716 of the bill in front of Congress. Mr. ALVAREZ. So I guess I don’t see the connection that you’re trying to draw. The connection—— Mr. SILVERS. Mr. Alvarez—— Mr. ALVAREZ. [continuing]. Between AIG and—— Mr. SILVERS [continuing]. Do I need to quote your testimony back to you about the necessity of rescuing these financial—the parties to the OTC contracts in order to save the insurance businesses? Mr. ALVAREZ. The difficulty I’m trying to connect is between your view of 716 and what happened in AIG. I don’t think those two are connected. In AIG there was—— Mr. SILVERS. Should I disregard your testimony and the testimony of your colleagues from the New York Fed that a primary reason for your sense that you had to pay a 100 percent on those contracts was to avoid the collapse of the guaranteed insurance businesses? Is that part of your testimony to be disregarded? Mr. ALVAREZ. No, sir. But 716 stops insured institutions from engaging in swaps activities. That isn’t what caused the contagion in AIG as it relates to its insurance subsidiaries. There were guarantees—— Mr. SILVERS. So you wouldn’t have a problem—— Mr. ALVAREZ [continuing]. Of AIG of obligations of the AIG insurance subsidiary. Mr. SILVERS. So you wouldn’t have a problem then—— Mr. ALVAREZ. The swaps would have been prohibited by 716. Mr. SILVERS. You wouldn’t have a problem then with a measure that essentially disaggregated federally-insured financial activities from swaps activities on the scale that AIG was engaged in? Mr. ALVAREZ. So I think that swaps activities can safely and should be safely done within depository institutions. They—— Mr. SILVERS. Then how do we not end up back in this situation where we have to rescue swap participants and treat their obligations as though they were guaranteed, as though they were better than, you know, the average individuals’ guaranteed bank account VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00111 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 106 in order to avoid having an unraveling and thus a problem with an individual’s guaranteed bank account or insurance policy? Why is it that we are not faced with that exact problem today should another firm be so foolish as to behave in the fashion that AIG did and should regulators choose to look the other way while they did so? Mr. ALVAREZ. Because swap activities can safely be done and are important as a hedging mechanism for depository institutions. Mr. SILVERS. I don’t see how that statement is at all consistent with your testimony or that of your colleagues. Mr. ALVAREZ. Perhaps—— Chair WARREN. Perhaps we should stop here. Thank you. Mr. ALVAREZ. I’m happy to talk with you further about this because this is a very important issue. Chair WARREN. Thank you. Right. Dr. Troske. Dr. TROSKE. Thank you. So let me start along a related line and go back to the statement Mr. Baxter made about the importance of consistency. It has been the case that the Federal Government has stepped in and bailed out institutions, starting with Continental Illinois and Long-Term Capital Management and a variety of institutions. It’s potentially the case that when Lehman Brothers was allowed to fail that was a surprise to the market and they priced that accordingly. Given that, that the market already figured out, okay, what the Government was doing previously has now ended and we can’t expect to be bailed out any more, it’s entirely—I want you to speculate on the possibility that had AIG then subsequently been allowed to enter bankruptcy, that the market wouldn’t have been all that surprised because you had allowed Lehman Brothers to enter bankruptcy. What’s your reaction to that sort of hypothesis? I’ll call it that. Mr. ALVAREZ. Sure. And others, I’m sure, will have a view on this, but there’s several significant differences between what happened with Lehman and what happened with AIG. One is Lehman—the market had a long time to prepare for Lehman. They knew Lehman was struggling and so there was a longer lead time than I think there was with AIG. Also, Lehman had pretty dramatic effects on the market. There were dramatic effects in the commercial paper market, in the money market mutual fund market, in state and local municipalities that held various kinds of Lehman instruments. A follow-on failure of AIG 48 hours after Lehman would have been, especially without time to prepare—without the markets being really in a position to understand what would have happened and prepare for that—would have been a tremendously jolting effect. So I think they were different situations. I don’t think the market was as prepared for AIG, and I do think also with the failure of Lehman, things changed. People became more conscious about cash. They became more worried about their own financial condition and the condition of everyone else. There was a real possibility markets would have frozen up very dramatically with the second follow-on failure. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00112 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 107 Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Mr. Willumstad, you’ve sat over there so patiently. I thought—— Mr. WILLUMSTAD. I don’t have much choice, do I? Dr. TROSKE. Yeah. And I guess you’re the financial expert and so in reading about this situation, there are a number of questions or things that confuse me as a lowly economist, one of which was in your testimony. You made the statement that the accounting necessity on mark-to-market caused AIG to experience losses, accounting losses without any fundamental change in the profit—in the long run value of the company. Now, again, we’re in a market in which presumably we’re dealing with traders that are reasonably sophisticated and reasonably bright people and should be able to see through accounting rules that force you to do something as accounting rules sometimes do. Sometimes they’re valuable. Other times they’re not, but occasionally they force you to do something that doesn’t reflect the true underlying value of the company. So if the value of the company really hasn’t changed any, why can a simple accounting rule cause a problem in the way the market treats the company? Help me try to understand that, drawing from your experience, not simply at AIG. Mr. WILLUMSTAD. Yeah. I’ll try. The mark-to-market accounting, which I think is certainly a valid accounting process, the problem, of course, at the time, there was no market. So we really weren’t marking to market. We were marking to some hypothetical formulaic approach and a number of different areas. Dr. TROSKE. But again, that’s something that everybody knew. I mean, presumably anybody could—I could look at that and say, well, there’s not really a market here. So they’re just making it up. Mr. WILLUMSTAD. Right. Dr. TROSKE. Not to be too flip. Mr. WILLUMSTAD. No. But from an accounting point of view, we were required—— Dr. TROSKE. Yes. Mr. WILLUMSTAD [continuing]. On that basis to take losses and they were substantial. They were unrealized. There was no sale of securities and in fact the securities at the time, throughout this whole period of time, were still rated AAA or AA and there were virtually no defaults. The securities were being paid and again I understand mark-to-market. The point I was trying to make is that in temporary market situations, these significant write-downs that the company had to take impaired its capital and on the basis that the securities actually over the long-term maturity of the securities would come back and that was obviously a judgment call, based on different individuals, was a belief that those securities had much more value than the market had given them in this mark to market process. That was my only point. I’m not sure I understand your question beyond that. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. There’s a lot of discussion about lack of access to debt. Can you explain to me why AIG didn’t try to raise capital through an equity market? Mr. WILLUMSTAD. It did. Going back in May of 2008, AIG raised $20 billion of capital which at the time I think was the largest cap- VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00113 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 108 ital raise ever done. The subsequent losses in the second quarter, which were announced in August, ate into a lot of that and again it wasn’t so much an issue of pure capital. This was liquidity that was the crisis that came about and so at probably the recommendation of my lawyers not do this, I would say to clarify some of the things that happened, because I think there’s a little mixture of capital-raising and liquidity issues that have gone on here, the private solution that was attempted on Friday, the 12th, the 13th, and the 14th, was an AIG private solution. The Fed had not entered into any of those discussions. I had reported to the Fed on Saturday evening that we had made some progress towards raising capital from both secured lending facilities as well as new equity investments from private equity participants and that’s where the New York State Insurance Commissioner came into play. But the number we were looking for was getting bigger, mostly in anticipation of what would happen to the markets on the Monday after Lehman Brothers. We started looking for 20, we found 20. The number then escalated by Saturday evening to 40 and I remember going to the Fed and explaining to both Tim Geithner and Secretary Paulson that we thought we could probably raise $30 billion this weekend, but the investors and New York State Insurance Commission would not go ahead unless they would be assured that the company would survive after receiving that money which was only, obviously, sound judgment. We continued to work all day Sunday with investors and, of course, the news kept getting worse about what was going to happen to the markets on Monday and by Sunday evening at five o’clock, I went back to the Fed and told them that we had essentially failed to raise any capital. The markets had withdrawn any effort and, oh, by the way, the number was getting bigger, as much as $60 billion. Dr. TROSKE. So let me—you seem to have just said that you had a deal for 20 and then you had a deal for 30. Mr. WILLUMSTAD. No. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. That’s what I heard you say, so I wanted to make sure, because you seemed to indicate that you could have gotten 30 billion. Mr. WILLUMSTAD. We believe we could have. The New York State Insurance Commission had released $20 billion of securities which previous to that approval process was not available. Banks had indicated they would lend us $20 billion. These were government securities. So there was no real collateral risk. So we assumed that we could raise $20 billion based on what we got as collateral and from the banks. The private equity investors that were there Saturday had indicated they’d be willing to put up $10 billion on the assumption that this would be a viable company coming out the end. There was no way of doing that under the circumstances, knowing that the markets were going to be in very serious condition on Monday. I went to the Fed on Saturday and explained this to them and asked for both a bridge loan and/or a guarantee that I could take back to the lenders and the private equity investors that would give them some assurance that AIG would be viable after they put VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00114 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 109 up this capital. I was told that was not going to happen. There would be no government solution for AIG, and we went back to work on Sunday trying to find more capital. On Sunday evening, by this time we concluded that we couldn’t raise any capital because we couldn’t guarantee—— Dr. TROSKE. So I know I’m running over, but this seems to address some points that have been asked before. You seem to be suggesting from what you just said that when you went to the New York Fed you had the possibility to put together a partially private/partially public deal that would have allowed you to continue to exist, that you had $30 billion in promises from the private sector, conditional on the New York Fed guaranteeing the survival of the company or providing some additional support. So it didn’t have to be all one, you believed you had a deal that would allow both a private and a public component to it, is that correct? Mr. WILLUMSTAD. I believe that we had a commitment, a verbal commitment, at least under the circumstances, for approximately $30 billion, but without some further guarantees of liquidity from someone, in this case the Fed, we were not going to be able to complete that deal. Dr. TROSKE. Thank you very much. Mr. WILLUMSTAD. If I could? Dr. TROSKE. Yes. Mr. WILLUMSTAD. Just one more point. It wasn’t until Monday morning of the 15th when I received a call from Tim Geithner that the Fed was going to—he actually asked me for permission for JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs to represent or to attempt to work on a ‘‘private’’ solution with a syndicate of banks to provide the capital. That didn’t start until 11 o’clock on Monday morning. We were all summoned over to the Fed at 11 o’clock on Monday, the 15th, and that’s when there was a discussion and Tim Geithner said at that meeting to everybody, and there were probably 40 people in the room, that there would be no government resources available to AIG and that was that Monday at 11 a.m. and, then, of course, there was no solution. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Thank you. Chair WARREN. I just want to make sure I’m following the timeline here. So the people you were working with, the creditors you were working with over the weekend, who was that? That was not JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs? Mr. WILLUMSTAD. No, and again—— Chair WARREN. Over the weekend? Mr. WILLUMSTAD [continuing]. Apples and oranges. Chair WARREN. I understand that. Who was it? Mr. WILLUMSTAD. Well, JPMorgan was our advisor to AIG over the weekend. They were acting as AIG’s advisor in helping us raise capital. We had a number of private equity investors and we had the New York State Insurance Commission—that was a big help. So that was purely AIG-driven with our advisor, JPMorgan, and Citibank, by the way. Citigroup were also co-managers through that process. We were talking to large private equity firms and I had had conversation with Warren Buffett, as well, in terms of trying to raise VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00115 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 110 capital. That was unrelated to what’s been referred to as the JPMorgan/Goldman Sachs effort. That didn’t start until Monday at 11 a.m. Chair WARREN. I see, and so when Mr. Baxter is referring to the Lehman weekend, we keep hearing that AIG’s going to be taken care of, they’ve got the money they need, there’s going to be adequate funding, it’s this private deal you were—— Mr. WILLUMSTAD. That was our effort. Chair WARREN [continuing]. Working on, that collapsed Sunday night at five o’clock. Mr. WILLUMSTAD. Well, I informed them that Sunday. Chair WARREN. Who did you inform? Mr. WILLUMSTAD. Well, we were summoned back over to the Fed. There were a number of people there. Tim Geithner was there. My recollection is that Secretary Paulson was not in that meeting, but I could be wrong about that. Chair WARREN. So that’s Sunday at five o’clock. It’s now clear that that effort has failed. A new effort starts at 11 o’clock on Monday morning but is evidently gone—— Mr. WILLUMSTAD. Well, just again to fill in some of the timeline, after Sunday evening a phone call was received from the Fed and JPMorgan was asked to go back to the Fed on Sunday evening. Chair WARREN. But you were not? Mr. WILLUMSTAD. We were not. As a matter of fact, we were— I specifically asked whether we could be there and we were told no, we were not invited, and so I can’t tell you exactly what happened Sunday evening, but I did receive this call on Monday morning from Tim Geithner saying that both JPMorgan and Goldman would work on a syndicated private solution with my authorization. Of course, I gave it to them. Chair WARREN. Yes, and that started at 11 o’clock on Monday and then—— Mr. WILLUMSTAD. So that was a conversation that we had had. Everybody was summoned to the Fed—— Chair WARREN. That’s right. Mr. WILLUMSTAD [continuing]. At 11 on Monday. Chair WARREN. And that failed then at what time? Mr. WILLUMSTAD. Well, everybody’s timeline is a little different. I had the suspicion Sunday evening—Monday evening that there was going to be no solution and that was just from some of the feedback from some of the people who had attended some of the meetings. On Tuesday morning, I called Tim Geithner because it was clear in the absence of a private solution on Tuesday we were going to have to file bankruptcy by Wednesday morning. Chair WARREN. I see. Good. Of course. Please. Mr. MCWATTERS. It sounds like you had a deal that was fairly close to being struck but it fell apart. What needed to be done or who needed to do what to keep that deal alive, the deal that you were working on over the weekend? Mr. WILLUMSTAD. Well, again, we had potential people—potentially people willing to put in, in my estimation, as much as $30 billion into AIG, but as I said, no thoughtful person would put VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00116 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 111 money in if they thought the company would file bankruptcy two or three days later, or a week later, even two weeks later. So they needed some form of guarantee that the company was viable going forward after they made their investment. It was my judgment that the only person who could give a guarantee like that that would be credible would be the Fed. Mr. MCWATTERS. What if the Fed, instead of giving a guarantee, instead of making an $85 billion loan, made, let’s say, a $30–40 billion loan? Do you think you could have had a deal on those terms? Mr. WILLUMSTAD. It certainly would have been much more attractive. It’s hard to know whether at that time, especially given what was going on over the weekend, that a specific number would have satisfied it. Remember, all the lenders that were going to put capital in were going to take collateral from AIG. So they would have been secured in the event of some form of bankruptcy. Mr. MCWATTERS. Right. And the Fed would have also, but since the Fed’s loan was not 85, it was 30 or 40, presumably they would take less collateral and leave more collateral for your bank syndicate or your syndicate of lenders. Okay. Thanks. Chair WARREN. And I just want to make sure I have this. 11 a.m. Monday meeting, this was a meeting called by the Fed? Mr. WILLUMSTAD. Yes. Chair WARREN. All right. And then President Geithner was there. You said you think Secretary Paulson was not, but you’re not entirely sure? Mr. WILLUMSTAD. Secretary Paulson was clearly not there. Chair WARREN. Clearly not there. Mr. WILLUMSTAD. I said I don’t think he was there Sunday evening. Chair WARREN. Got it. Okay. Anyone else you remember in this meeting on Monday morning? Mr. WILLUMSTAD. On—— Chair WARREN. Who was there on the Monday morning at 11 o’clock? Mr. WILLUMSTAD. Representatives from JPMorgan, a large contingent from Goldman Sachs, including Lloyd Blankfein. There were representatives representing the Fed from Morgan Stanley and, of course, each one of these firms had its assumed number of lawyers with them. I think the lawyers outnumbered the bankers at the time. Chair WARREN. Not probably for the first time. Okay. Good, good. Another one, Damon? Mr. SILVERS. One clarifying thing about this. Did the—was there—and I don’t know. Mr. Baxter, were you at this meeting? Mr. BAXTER. Not to my recollection. Mr. SILVERS. All right. So, Mr. Willumstad,—Ms. Dahlgren, were you there? Ms. DAHLGREN. No, I was not. Mr. SILVERS. Okay. Mr. Willumstad, did then President Geithner and his team remain for the entirety of the meeting? Were they sort of—were they running that meeting? VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00117 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 112 Mr. WILLUMSTAD. Well, that’s hard to answer. Mr. Geithner stayed, I’d say, for about 10 or 15 minutes. I remember his last words before leaving were that there would be no government assistance and that this had to be a private solution. The principal representative from Treasury was Dan Jester who was there. He and I actually left the meeting to go call the rating agencies. So I was actually out of the meeting probably for about an hour and by the time we were completed calling the rating agencies, the meeting had broken up and people were coming back to AIG to work on putting together the financial information necessary for a syndicated loan. Mr. SILVERS. So what time did that meeting end, roughly? Mr. WILLUMSTAD. I would say about 12:30–1 o’clock, or something. Mr. SILVERS. And you left that meeting believing that a syndicate was being put together? Mr. WILLUMSTAD. No, no. I’ve been in this business a long time. I’m not naive. I believe—— Mr. SILVERS. What did you believe when that meeting ended? Mr. WILLUMSTAD. No. I believed that JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs were charged with the effort to try and put together a syndicate to come up with X billions of dollars and that effort was undertaken. Mr. SILVERS. Now, did you—were there any further meetings involving that effort that you were involved in or any phone calls after that meeting ended? Mr. WILLUMSTAD. No. Chair WARREN. And, Mr. Baxter, just so I’m sure we have the record clear on this. Based on your earlier experiences, was the Fed in the room for the negotiations over Long-Term Capital Management? Mr. BAXTER. The negotiations with the creditors of Long-Term Capital Management, to enlighten them of their self-interests in putting $3 billion in capital in, took place on the 10th Floor of our building at 33 Liberty Street. Chair WARREN. So it’s fair to say you were there? Mr. BAXTER. We were there. Chair WARREN. You were there. Solomon? Mr. BAXTER. And Solomon, there were a whole series of discussions. Chair WARREN. Were you there? Mr. BAXTER. In some I was. Chair WARREN. Okay. Or the point is the Fed was there—— Mr. BAXTER. Yes. Chair WARREN [continuing]. In some form or another? And the sovereign debt crisis? Mr. BAXTER. Sovereign debt crisis would have been a number of discussions among colleagues of mine at the Fed, yes. Chair WARREN. So the Fed was there, and Bear Stearns? Mr. BAXTER. Clearly, we were there for Bear Stearns. Chair WARREN. Okay. Good. Just making sure we’ve got it all clear. I think that’s it. Thank you all very much. Thank you for your patience and thank you for your help to the panel. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00118 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 113 This panel is excused, and I call the second panel and while they’re coming, I will introduce them. Martin Bienenstock is Partner and Chair of the Business Solutions and Government Department at Dewey & LeBoeuf. Rodney Clark is the Managing Director of Insurance Ratings at Standard & Poor’s Credit Rating Agency. Michael Moriarty is Deputy Superintendent for Property and Capital Markets at New York State Insurance Department. Gentlemen, I want to thank you, all three, for coming here today. We appreciate it, and I’m going to ask you if you would make opening statements, if you could hold your remarks to five minutes. As you can see, we are a lively panel with many questions, and flights back late tonight. So I’m going to ask to hold your remarks to five minutes, but your entire written remarks will be part of the record. Mr. Bienenstock, could I start with you, please? smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING STATEMENT OF MARTIN BIENENSTOCK, PARTNER AND CHAIR OF THE BUSINESS SOLUTIONS AND GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT, DEWEY & LEBOEUF Mr. BIENENSTOCK. Yes. Good morning, Chair Warren and Panel Members, Deputy Chair Silvers, Mr. McWatters, and Dr. Troske. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. Since I’ve heard several times that testimony is automatically in the record, I thought at least in part I would try to supplement what I’ve written by crystallizing some of what I’ve heard this morning and tying it to the relevant portions of my written testimony. First, I have no issue with the emergency action taken by the Fed to provide the $85 billion facility on September 15, 2008, and you have more information than I do, but all I can say is from what I have been able to read from a lay person in the public, based on the speed of the meltdown and the exigencies of the situation on the heels of the unrescued Lehman bankruptcy and collapse, I don’t know of any alternative, whether there could have been some money from the private sector, I’m not sure at the end of the day would even make a big difference because the $85 billion facility was all secured. So the secured part will be paid back. Hopefully it’s over-secured and the Government will get all its money back at a profit, but it was secured with everything AIG had of value, as far as I can tell. Where I might take issue with some of what has gone before, both this morning and in prior hearings, is the notion that everything was set in stone on September 15 and let me backtrack for just a moment. The speed and suddenness of the need for the $85 billion facility, while I can tell it’s surprising to me, including some in this room, is not surprising to those of us who have been through crises involving trading companies before. I met with Enron the Friday after Thanksgiving in 2001 and the next week it filed Chapter 11. When you’re dealing with a trading company, financial statements and balance sheets don’t have much meaning because the next trade changes the assets and liabilities. It also changes the risk profile. VerDate Mar 15 2010 01:41 Feb 08, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00119 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 114 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING When the market loses confidence in either the trader or there’s a pervasive market shift in confidence in a class of securities, such as subprime, the values fall out of bed, the financial statements are worthless, and you’re at what I suppose AIG considered one of the highly unlikely occurrences in their computer models. If there was a fault there, I think it was governance at AIG that didn’t recognize the severity of the damage if the unlikely did occur and there was no preparation for that, but each of these are unique situations. It’s only the speed of the death spiral that is the same and whatever legislation arises out of this, it’s very hard to script the steps that should be taken. I think you’ll find that the most important thing is to have the risks fully understood in advance so people are at least ready to deal with them when they do occur and each one is unique. Anyway, having advanced the $85 billion facility on September 15, the Maiden Lane II and III deals didn’t occur for several months later. Meanwhile, the Fed had a lien on everything of value. AIG had over 30 million customers which were 30 million creditors and the creditors from which it really wanted concessions in the notion of fairness are the creditors who were trading in the businesses creating the harm, primarily the credit default swaps and perhaps the securities lending. Those came down to the bulk of the exposure being with eight counterparties, the vast bulk being with 16, according to other testimony I’ve read, including from Mr. Baxter a few months ago. So the bottom line is there were months to talk to the parties having the most exposure about what concessions they might grant if the Government and AIG would basically, in partnership, take them out. Now, what we know on the opposite end is the Government took the worst case. They already held $35 billion in securities and the Government paid the full value, the par value remaining. You can’t do any worse than was done here. Hopefully the Government will be able to recover much and all of that. Apparently it’s over-secured from what I’ve read in Mr. Millstein’s testimony that you’ll hear later today. It’s currently over-secured. But at the time, we have to recognize that the tables changed and the essential message I want to give you is this is a process. You don’t look at just the end games. Once the loan was made, once AIG was secured, 30 million customers were current as well as its other creditors. AIG wasn’t going to file bankruptcy voluntarily and under those circumstances, no one could really file involuntarily because AIG was generally paying its debts as they matured. [The prepared statement of Mr. Bienenstock follows:] VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00120 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00121 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 190 here 63515.068 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 115 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00122 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 191 here 63515.069 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 116 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00123 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 192 here 63515.070 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 117 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00124 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 193 here 63515.071 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 118 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00125 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 194 here 63515.072 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 119 120 Chair WARREN. Thank you, Mr. Bienenstock. I’m going to stop you there, but that’s very helpful. Thank you. Mr. Clark, I just want to say again how much I appreciate your being here and Standard & Poor’s stepping forward to give us some insight into the credit rating process here. If you could give us your opening remarks. smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING STATEMENT OF RODNEY CLARK, MANAGING DIRECTOR, INSURANCE RATINGS, STANDARD & POOR’S Mr. CLARK. Yes. Thank you. Thank you, Chair Warren, Members of the Panel, good morning. My name is Rodney Clark, and I serve as Managing Director in Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, and from 2005 through 2008 I served as S&P’s lead ratings analyst covering AIG. I’m pleased to appear before you this morning. At the outset, I’d like to take a moment to speak generally about our ratings process and to explain what ratings are and are not intended to convey. S&P’s credit ratings are current opinions on the future credit risk of an entity or a debt obligation. They express our opinion about capacity and willingness of an entity to meet all contractual and financial obligations as they come due. S&P forms its rating opinions through quantitative and qualitative analyses performed by our rating analysts and after an opinion is formed, S&P publishes the opinion in real time and for free on our website and we generally publish a more detailed narrative about our opinion. This is the process by which S&P arrived at its ratings on AIG. My written submission includes a table listing our global ratings history on AIG since 1990 and a more detailed description of our rationale for our rating changes. By way of overview, up to 2005, S&P’s rating on AIG was AAA, our highest rating, reflecting our view that AIG’s capacity to meet its financial commitments was extremely strong. Our opinion began to change starting in March of 2005 and S&P has since lowered its ratings on the company four times. In February 2008, S&P announced a negative outlook for the company’s rating based on the way AIG was determining the fair value of its credit default swaps that it had entered into. AIG CDS guaranteed an array of structured finance securities, including securities backed by sub-prime residential mortgages. In May 2008, we lowered our rating on AIG further to AA Minus in reaction to the company’s announcement of losses, including 5.9 billion related to its CDS portfolio, and we maintained a negative outlook on AIG’s rating throughout the summer of 2008. In August, S&P announced its view that AIG’s actual credit-related losses in the CDS area would likely amount to $8 billion with significantly higher mark to market losses. But the market value of AIG’s investments and the investments of third parties that had purchased CDS guarantees deteriorated sharply amid the substantial market turbulence in September 2008. In light of these events, on September 12, 2008, S&P placed its ratings on AIG and all AIG subsidiaries on credit watch with negative implications. On September 15, as AIG’s condition continued to deteriorate, S&P lowered its rating further to A Minus in light VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00126 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 121 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING of increasing CDS-related losses and its reduced flexibility in meeting the collateral needs. In our view, were it not for the extension of an $85 billion borrowing facility by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on September 17, 2008, AIG’s creditworthiness would have continued to deteriorate. Our current rating on AIG, which remains A Minus, includes a five notch uplift to account for Federal Government support. Our current view is that AIG has made significant progress in re-establishing its insurance market presence and in implementing a very challenging restructuring plan. However, we believe AIG remains susceptible to competitive pressures as well as aggressive market pricing. With respect to the effect of AIG’s current financial situation on the creditworthiness of its subsidiaries, we believe those subsidiaries are to some extent insulated by the state insurance laws and regulations. For example, if AIG had been forced into bankruptcy, the bankruptcy would have likely included a relatively small number of AIG’s non-insurance subsidiaries, such as AIG Financial Products, with only a marginal impact on AIG’s insurance subsidiaries. Nevertheless, when S&P lowered its credit rating on AIG to A Minus on September 15, we also lowered the ratings on most of the insurance subsidiaries to A Plus, where they remain today. While AIG’s financial problems have no direct effect on the solvency of the insurance subsidiaries, we believe the creditworthiness of those subsidiaries is nevertheless indirectly affected by the decreased likelihood that they could receive additional capital from AIG as well as the reputational risk resulting from the parent company’s financial problems and its impact on customers. You’ve asked me to explain S&P’s ratings treatment of certain distressed exchanges. Our criteria call for consideration of various factors in assessing whether a distressed exchange would be viewed as a selective default, including whether default insolvency or bankruptcy in the near or medium term would be likely without the exchange offer. Chair WARREN. Mr. Clark, I would ask you just to—just do one sentence. We’ve all read the report, but we’re at five minutes. Mr. CLARK. Okay. The important line then is every situation is different and any significant discount to the payment of the obligations, other than perhaps the time value of money, could potentially constitute a default under our published criteria. Thank you for the opportunity to participate. [The prepared statement of Mr. Clark follows:] VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00127 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00128 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 201 here 63515.073 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 122 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00129 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 202 here 63515.074 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 123 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00130 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 203 here 63515.075 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 124 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00131 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 204 here 63515.076 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 125 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00132 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 205 here 63515.077 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 126 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00133 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 206 here 63515.078 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 127 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00134 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 207 here 63515.079 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 128 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00135 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 208 here 63515.080 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 129 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00136 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 209 here 63515.081 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 130 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00137 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 210 here 63515.082 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 131 132 Chair WARREN. That was impressive. Thank you, Mr. Clark, to be able to take those last pages and put them together in a sentence. Mr. CLARK. I knew the important line. Chair WARREN. That’s right. Mr. Moriarty, could you give us your opening remarks, please, sir? smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING STATEMENT OF MICHAEL MORIARTY, DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT FOR PROPERTY AND CAPITAL MARKETS, NEW YORK STATE INSURANCE DEPARTMENT Mr. MORIARTY. Surely. Pleased to. Thank you, Chair Warren and other Members of the Congressional Oversight Panel, for the opportunity to present any information the New York Insurance Department can assist in fulfilling your important charge. There’s some broad points I’d like to make. Number one. AIG Financial Holding Company is not regulated by state insurance regulators. The state insurance regulators are charged with regulating the insurance operating entities here in the United States. In that realm, our job is to make sure that policyholders are treated fairly and that the insurance that they purchase to protect themselves will be paid by the insurance company when legitimate claims are put on the table. Number two. The AIG crisis was the primary result of the credit default swaps issued by an entity that was, for all intents and purposes, an unregulated derivative shop that traded on the rating of AIG as a whole. During the crisis, the Fed’s main concern was not the collapse of the insurance companies which we don’t believe would have happened, but AIG Financial Products had CDS, had futures, had other derivatives with many of the major commercial banks and brokerage firms. The failure to perform on these transactions would have a systemic impact on the worldwide economy, especially since the counter-parties to AIG Financial Products were already reeling from the failure of Lehman, the problems with Bear Stearns, and the extreme distress of the other financial institutions. The aggressiveness of AIG’s bullish outlook on the residential mortgage market did bleed into the insurance companies in the form of the securities lending. When the size of the securities lending program in the life insurance companies became known to the insurance companies in terms of its size, which was probably in the beginning of 2007, we, with other states, worked with AIG to begin to wind down the securities lending in an orderly fashion and did go from a high of $76 billion in the beginning of 2007 down to $58 billion right before the implosion of AIG in September of 2008. The crisis caused by Financial Products did spook the borrowers of the securities lending program and they would not let the borrowings roll over as they had done in the past and instead required that the AIG return the cash collateral that was provided for them. AIG had invested a lot of that cash collateral in residential mortgage-backed securities which were underwater and fairly illiquid and would have taken a significant loss at the life insurance companies if those collateral calls were made. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00138 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 133 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING Once the $85 billion federal facility was established by the Fed, AIG did take advantage of that and use some of it, $17 billion worth, to pay back some of the borrowers of the securities, but the remainder of the lending portfolio remained kind of an albatross around AIG as a going concern. Maiden Lane II was formed in December 2008 to effectively end the lending program at the AIG life insurance companies. Now for the $19.2 billion that was provided by the Federal Government for approximately $39 billion in par value residential mortgage-back securities, again, they are being paid back and by all indications they could make a profit on it. I think it’s important to remember that credit default swaps and securities lendings are different transactions. In a securities lending program, the borrower posts collateral. If you do not return that collateral, they will keep the securities that they borrow. So AIG was going to suffer a loss on the securities lending programs and it’s a different transaction than a credit default swap. Quickly, in response to our oversight of the AIG insurance companies, as all states do, we review insurance financial statements and other ancillary documents that are furnished by our domestic insurance companies. We do on-site examinations and regular meetings with the management. At the time of the crisis AIG had 71 licensed insurance companies in the United States. Seven of those were domestic property/ casualty insurance companies and three of those were life insurance companies. On Friday we did get the call from the CFO of AIG that a downgrade was imminent and it would have drastic ramifications. A team of New York Insurance Department high-level representatives were sent to the AIG office. It was during that weekend that the proposal to allow the property and casualty insurers to effectively swap $20 billion of liquid assets with some of the residential mortgage-backed securities were put on the table. I just think it’s important to note that there were conditions to this and that there was capital provided by outside investors and that the life insurance companies be put underneath the P&C company, effectively becoming subsidiaries of the P&C companies. [The prepared statement of Mr. Moriarty follows:] VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00139 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00140 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 216 here 63515.083 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 134 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00141 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 217 here 63515.084 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 135 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00142 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 218 here 63515.085 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 136 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00143 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 219 here 63515.086 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 137 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00144 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 220 here 63515.087 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 138 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00145 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 221 here 63515.088 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 139 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00146 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 222 here 63515.089 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 140 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 141 Chair WARREN. Very helpful. Thank you, Mr. Moriarty. So I want to be clear, if I can, about setting the stage a little bit for this panel. If you’ve read the testimony from the Fed and we’ve had multiple meetings now with the Fed, they basically have made the argument that negotiation was simply not possible, and that it was not possible because negotiation under these circumstances, particularly in the case of rapid dissent, is never possible, that ratings downgrades would have triggered multiple cross-defaults and contagion throughout the market, and that the insurance regulators would have seized the insurance companies and therefore destroyed the value of the entity and possibly caused losses to the insured, people around the country. So the reason we asked this panel to come is that we wanted to probe that claim. That’s what we’re here about, to just push back on this alternative. So I at least am going to start that. I want to start that, if I can, with you, Mr. Clark. Following the bailout of a 100 cents on the dollar—because the Fed has described and they describe in their written testimony, it was totally binary. It was either a full bailout with full payment to everyone or it was no help, bankruptcy, and collapse, as they saw the alternatives, and so what I want to ask here is following the Fed bailout, there was still a ratings downgrade, right, of—I think I’m reading—you have some slight readjustment. No? Mr. CLARK. You’re saying following the—— Chair WARREN. The actual bailout. Mr. CLARK [continuing]. $85 billion, the initial—— Chair WARREN. That’s right. Mr. CLARK. Okay. Chair Warren: Right. You have some change in how you’re rating AIG? Mr. CLARK. Yes. On September 17, following the change, we actually—we had lowered the rating on the Monday, the 15th, to A Minus. On the Wednesday, we maintained the rating at A Minus. We revised the credit watch, which indicates the direction of possible movement from negative because the trend was clearly negative on Monday to developing on Wednesday, that implied it could go up or down, but we were still sorting out the impact of this facility. Chair WARREN. Got it. So government help—you had to evaluate it, evaluate what its impact was going to be, its size, the likelihood it would be there in the future, and I would assume from the ratings you gave, it was not guaranteed that it would be there forever; otherwise, it would have gone back up to AAA. Mr. CLARK. Correct. Chair WARREN. So you were trying to evaluate that, and as we all know, AIG ultimately paid every creditor 100 cents on the dollar and has continued to do so to this day. So here’s my question. I also read in your testimony that right now AIG gets a five notch improvement because of your assessment of the value of the government assistance. Mr. CLARK. Right. Chair WARREN. If AIG had had a negotiated settlement of some kind with government assistance, with private assistance, and with a haircut to the creditors of some dollar amount, would they have VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00147 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 142 been better off than if they had paid a 100 cents on the dollar or would they have been worse off going forward into the future? What would have been their financial picture? If you can pay less on your debt, are you better off than if you pay a 100 cents on the dollar on your debt? Mr. CLARK. Right. And it’s difficult for me to explain in the hypothetical, but I know in our ratings criteria on distressed exchanges, which we shared with the Panel staff previously, it speaks to the fact that we would consider a distressed payment of less than what is owed to be a default or a selective default—— Chair Warren. Yes. Mr. CLARK [continuing]. Under our ratings criteria. However, it is true that in many cases following a restructuring, following either a distressed exchange or a series of distressed exchanges, that the credit condition could be better than before the time of the exchange. Chair WARREN. Okay. Good. That was the part I needed, and then if one combined this distressed negotiation with substantial funding from some combination of private and public sources, what would the credit rating look like going forward? Mr. CLARK. I can’t speak to the hypothetical without knowing the terms, but it is possible that it could have been similar, better, or worse. Chair WARREN. Okay. So I’ll ask it then just the other way and then I’m through, and that is was it a foregone conclusion that their ratings would be completely wiped out if they paid something less than a 100 cents on the dollar, if they had secured both government and private money going forward? Mr. CLARK. Under the criteria that we use, we look to was the counterparty paid what they were owed, and was it done in a distressed situation, that is, to save the company from insolvency or bankruptcy? If there was a modest discount, such as relative to interest rates and the time value of money, that would not have necessarily caused a default, but those are factors the rating committee would weigh in determining is the exchange distressed or isn’t it in determining what the impact on the ratings would be. Chair WARREN. Okay. Along with how much money is available going forward, right? Mr. CLARK. Absolutely. Chair WARREN. All right. Good. That’s helpful. Thank you very much. Mr. McWatters. Mr. MCWATTERS. Thank you. Let me follow up on that, Mr. Clark. If there’s a distressed exchange at the same time the Government has made commitments, I mean has by this time, by November of 2008, put in so much money that it seems unlikely the Government is going to walk away from that, so at that point in time it’s not that AIG needs to do these distressed situations in order to save money for liquidity because it has Uncle Sam providing the liquidity. It’s in effect doing the distressed transaction in order to treat the taxpayers more fairly. I mean, does that resonate with you at all? Mr. CLARK. I believe so. I’m not sure I’m hearing the question. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00148 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 143 Mr. MCWATTERS. Well, the question is we’re going to cut a deal. We’re going to cut a haircut, but the reason we’re cutting a haircut is not to save money for liquidity of AIG because that’s been assured by the taxpayers, by the Federal Reserve Bank already putting in $85 billion, it’s unlikely they’re willing to walk away. We’re going to cut a haircut because it’s fair to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are putting in the money to take these guys out. Mr. CLARK. Okay. Now understand the basis for our ratings. We’ve published a view that the rating, absent the federal support on AIG today, would be BB and suffice it to say a year ago it would have been worse than that. However, it’s an A Minus rating with the benefit of the government support. That is based on a view that the support that exists is available to allow the company to meet its financial obligations. So it is fair to say that our rating committee would look at a situation where AIG has significant funding but isn’t able to use it to satisfy its financial obligations in whole, be it for the credit default swaps or other obligations. We would have to form an opinion, well, will that funding be available to future financial obligations to pay them on time and in whole, and so those are all factors that we’d have to evaluate in determining the appropriate rating. As it’s been to date, the credit facility has been there for essentially all of the financial obligations as needed. If that were not the case, we’d re-evaluate the value of the support in the rating. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay. So this is not a simple situation, that if there is one of these distressed exchanges, therefore the wall falls down. Okay. Mr. Bienenstock, I read your testimony with great interest. You seem to present an elegant alternative to what happened and I think you were about to get into that in your opening remarks. Would you care to elaborate? Mr. BIENENSTOCK. Sure. Once the Government came forward with the $85 billion facility and secured it with everything of value, so far as I can tell, the dynamics changed. Bankruptcy was now off the table. Everything I’ve read in the public record so far has been the Fed, et cetera, didn’t want to threaten a bluff about bankruptcy but now the strength of AIG would say we’re not voluntarily filing and you can’t involuntarily file because we have over 30 million creditors and we’re paying 99.999 percent of them on time in full. So what is the remedy now of those creditors you think who, as a matter of equity to the taxpayers, should provide a discount? The remedy is not a lot. They can go at most to state court at the cost of great public notoriety. Some of these entities had government assistance separately. Other of these entities, for instance, purchased Lehman Brothers for $250 million, plus the appraised value of the real estate it received, and then had to acknowledge in its SEC filing a $3.5 billion profit on the purchase. I’m saying as a matter of common sense I don’t think these entities were in a position to say to the U.S. Government no, we won’t make some moderate but meaningful concession in exchange for taking us out entirely of these credit default swaps. Remember, that’s what was done. They were paid 100 cents, and we could always go or AIG could always go to the rating agency and say, look, VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00149 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 144 we’re only asking for concessions from businesses we’re winding down. We’re not doing more of this foolishness and as far as all our insurance companies, all ongoing businesses, we have the facility there. It’s available for payment in full on time. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay. Thank you. Chair WARREN. Mr. Silvers. Mr. SILVERS. Mr. Bienenstock, your response just then, when in your view—I mean, let me first get this straight. This is your profession, is it not, giving advice in these types of situations, these highly-pressurized insolvency crises? Mr. BIENENSTOCK. Yes, Mr. Silvers. Mr. SILVERS. All right. When are you suggesting that the approach that you just outlined would have best been deployed by the Federal Reserve? Mr. BIENENSTOCK. Once they—after—the first thing was to stabilize, to provide the $85 billion facility. Then in discussions with those people who should equitably give concessions over the next several weeks, months. They took until November and December to close their deals. So they had plenty of time to do this. Mr. SILVERS. But essentially as soon as—you’re saying as soon as it had been made clear to the markets, in general around the systemic risk issues and the like, that a simple Chapter 11 filing was not happening? Mr. BIENENSTOCK. Well, yeah. To give you a bit more of a professional response since you said this is my profession—— Mr. SILVERS. Right. Mr. BIENENSTOCK [continuing]. What I would say to the client is after you’ve taken care of your lifelines, now who were AIG’s lifelines? First, speak to Mr. Clark to explain exactly what’s going on, why this will improve creditworthiness going forward and not endanger others, after explaining to employees, customers, et cetera, here’s how we’re going forward. Then, once you’ve got your lifelines intact, once the Government, which is the revolving credit facility lender, knows what you’re doing, now’s the time to do it. Mr. SILVERS. All right. Mr. Moriarty—— Mr. MORIARTY. Yes? Mr. SILVERS [continuing]. You—it has been represented to us, and I think you heard some of it this morning, that absent what the Fed did and precisely the way it did it, there would have been a crisis for the insurance subsidiaries and their ability to maintain their business, pay their obligations, and the like, a crisis that’s so serious that it was absolutely necessary to rescue the parent in the manner the parent was rescued in order to avoid such an outcome. I think there is a kind of implicit analysis made by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury in saying so, that whatever problems might have arisen in the insured subsidiaries, they would have been beyond the ability of the state insurance regulation and guarantee system to manage. What is your response to both those propositions and specifically what was the view of the New York State Insurance regulators and the—I forget the term of art now, but there’s a sort of coordinating body of state insurance regulators. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00150 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 145 What was your view during the so-called Lehman weekend around these questions? Mr. MORIARTY. Sure. I’d like to bifurcate my answer into two parts. We do not believe that the existing policyholders of the AIG property and casualty companies for sure or even the life insurance companies would have suffered any losses should there—would there have been a bankruptcy of the AIG holding company system. State insurance laws through the McCarran-Ferguson Act clearly give the states the authority to regulate insurance companies and to rehabilitate and liquidate them, which is a different process from a bankruptcy. So we would maintain that the existing policyholders would have been made whole, even if there was a bankruptcy. The life insurance subsidiaries would have suffered significant losses and the cushion, which we call surplus, which is effectively capital between assets and liabilities, would have taken a severe hit, but we still think it would have been positive. Now, when we look at AIG as a going concern that would have been a problem. Clearly, the reputational risk of bankruptcy at the holding company level could shake the confidence of the policyholders on the property and casualty side. Much of the business is placed by three big brokers. If they had blacklisted AIG for all intents and purposes as a going concern, they would be gone; the same on the life insurance side. So to the extent that there was a bankruptcy, there would be a concern as to the ability of the AIG companies, the insurance companies to proceed as a going concern. Now that being said, there are options. There could be sales of the book of business to existing insurance companies. There could be transfers of certain parts of the books to other companies. So, I mean, there could have been some money moved around. There could have been rebranding. I mean, it’s hard to speculate, but clearly the bankruptcy would have had a troublesome impact. Mr. SILVERS. Well, I’m not asking you to speculate but just to remember. Did you all communicate a view that—did your department or did, to your knowledge, other insurance regulators communicate a view to the Federal Reserve or to the Treasury during this period that the parent of AIG had to be rescued in the manner that it was rescued? Mr. MORIARTY. No, we didn’t. Mr. SILVERS. Did you communicate any view at all to the Fed, the New York Fed or the Treasury? Mr. MORIARTY. When we were at the Fed, beginning Saturday morning, I think it’s clear from Governor Patterson’s offer, New York and Pennsylvania at the time, which were the two lead regulators of the property and casualty companies, did see an opportunity to basically lend AIGFP $20 billion in more marketable securities and we would take over the less liquid residential mortgage-backed securities. We did that again on the premise that, number one, there would be new capital provided in AIG, Inc., by outside investors and, number two, that the life insurance subsidiaries and thus the value of the life insurance subsidiaries would be put underneath the P&C companies. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00151 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 146 So we were looking for, I guess you’d call it, a private savings but it had to be a global solution. It had to be part of a solution that would allow AIG to continue making its way through the financial crisis. Anything short of that I think we’d be highly reluctant to let any money come out of the property and casualty insurance companies. Chair WARREN. Thank you. Professor Troske. Dr. TROSKE. Thank you. I guess maybe I’ll start with you, Mr. Bienenstock, and you can help because one of the things I haven’t understood about AIG in particular is the claim, the claim that seems to be made that had AIG entered bankruptcy, they would have simply ceased operating which seems somewhat different than most companies that actually do enter bankruptcy if recent experience of Chrysler and General Motors and a variety of airlines is any example. Companies often do enter bankruptcy and workers get up the next morning, go to work and continue to produce products. Do you have any sense of why, what’s different about AIG in this instance and Chrysler or General Motors or, you know, United Airlines? Mr. BIENENSTOCK. I think so. The clear distinction is that trading operations can only trade when there’s confidence in the marketplace. That’s why Enron’s trading ceased before it filed its Chapter 11 petition. That’s why AIG’s would also. Dr. TROSKE. When you say trading, you mean their securities trading, not their insurance business? Mr. BIENENSTOCK. Not—no. I’ll get to that. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Mr. BIENENSTOCK. The insurance companies are subsidiaries that are ineligible to go into bankruptcy. They could be seized by state regulators or not, but they would not technically be in bankruptcy themselves. They might be in state proceedings, but at the holding company, the various non-insurance operations, the Bankruptcy Code has special provisions for derivatives trading that allows counterparties to terminate and to liquidate. That’s the thing that doesn’t operate. The rest of the operations that are, if there are any, more like the airlines, the auto companies, they can continue. I don’t think AIG had many of that type of operation. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. And, Mr. Moriarty, you made the claim, and this is the claim that’s often made, and it was a claim that was made of auto companies, of why they shouldn’t enter bankruptcy because the warranties all of a sudden, you know, who’s going to buy a car from a bankrupt car company because, you know, you got no guarantee that you could—you know, they were going to be around to protect the warranty. Of course, the warranties can often be provided by third party people and do it all the time. And, so again, when I look at it as an economist, if there’s value being produced, somebody’s going to produce that value because they want to make a profit in a market-based economy. So if AIG had valuable entities, even if part of the company went bankrupt, somebody’s got to be able to step up and continue to provide the services they do, be it maybe under a different name. Does that seem like a reasonable outcome? VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00152 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 147 Mr. MORIARTY. I think it is. Again, there are reasons that the state insurance laws wall off the assets and the liabilities of the insurance entities from all the non-insurance entities, simply because the assets are meant to pay the policyholder claims. AIG, as one of the former panelists indicated, employed over a 100,000 people worldwide. There were less than 500 people employed by AIG FP which arguably brought down or caused severe stress to AIG. AIG clearly had a lot of talent in terms of its core businesses which were property and casualty insurance and life insurance, and those subsidiaries could have been sold, the business could have been taken by other entities. You know, I think there were options. I think the policyholders, number one, would have been paid and, number two, probably could have gotten new coverage, whether from a company that was sold by AIG or commercial accounts that just went to AIG. I do think that one of—two other concerns that we were most concerned about with respect to AIG were, number one, that they would lose customers because of the reputational risk and that they would lose good people because of the reputational risk. Those are concerns that, you know, still remain with us. Dr. TROSKE. But that’s no different than any business. I mean, presumably, you know, do you want to fly on an airline that’s bankrupt? I mean, when I get on an airplane, I sort of do you depend on the person driving it? I got to think that those concerns may be even more paramount. I think I’m more concerned when I get on an airline than about my life insurance policy. Mr. MORIARTY. Oh, again, in insurance, it is a promise to pay. Dr. TROSKE. It is, yes. Mr. MORIARTY. They don’t make widgets and they don’t make cars. Dr. TROSKE. An airline is a promise to get you there alive. Mr. MORIARTY. Yes, correct, correct. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Mr. MORIARTY. But I understand your point, and I do agree with you. Dr. TROSKE. So let me—one more question. I’m sorry. Yeah. I remember. Mr. Clark. So we’ve discussed today about the combination of private sector/public sector, you know, the financial support for AIG. How would that have been affected had the Federal Government put in less money, private sector put in more? Can you speculate a little? Would that have affected the ultimate rating of AIG in your mind? Mr. CLARK. No. We’d be looking to the outcome in terms of AIG’s sources of liquidity, its ability and willingness to meet its obligations when due, whether that funding was private, public, or a mixture. That wouldn’t have affected our rating. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Thank you. Chair WARREN. Thank you. Good. Thank you. Mr. Bienenstock, I think you were in the room to hear Mr. Baxter explain the role of the Fed in the Long-Term Capital Management negotiations, and I think his words were that the Fed explained to the creditors what was in their own best interests in reworking what needed to be done. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00153 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 148 Can you talk about what kind of conversation might have occurred with the counterparties to AIG and what was in their own best economic interests? I think you hit this, but I just want to make sure we got this one nailed down. Mr. BIENENSTOCK. I’m sensitive to the concern of the Fed not to use its regulatory power in a debtor/creditor capacity where they’re serving as a lender. So I’ll phrase it as to what any 800-pound gorilla lender, such as one of the big banks or, in this case, the Fed, would have said to the other creditors and the answer is we’re taking a lien on everything. In this case, it’s unique, as I said, because bankruptcy was taken off the table for other reasons. We’re taking a lien on everything. Bankruptcy is not an option. We’re willing to do a transaction with you if you make a fair concession for the benefit of all taxpayers because if not for our money, you would have taken a big loss on us for the most part, and what are your options? Your options are to do nothing, in which case we won’t do a transaction, you won’t have more money from us, we won’t buy out your CDO. Your options are to go to state court. We’ll argue awhile about whether you’re entitled to more collateral and how much more and by that time the underlying dynamics will have changed. But at the end of the day, you’re not going to have a remedy that really gets you value because we’re sitting here with an $85 billion lien and you’ll be in the newspaper and on the news every night trying to frustrate the United States Government’s effort to save the global financial system. Now what would you like to do? Chair WARREN. Okay. I think we have that. Can I ask you one other that comes out of your testimony, your written testimony, and that is you talk about shared pain, the principle of shared pain and bankruptcy? Can you just elaborate a bit on that? Mr. BIENENSTOCK. Sure. We all grow up being told that when we make a promise, we keep it. When we give our word, we keep it. And one of the things that makes bankruptcy counterintuitive and, frankly, offensive to a lot of lay persons is that in bankruptcy, if a debtor breaks one promise, takes one creditor and doesn’t pay it, but pays its others, that’s pretty unfair. So the more fair procedure is to break all its promises and to share the pain equally across all the creditors. That’s where bankruptcy is contrary to most of our notions of substantial justice. So sharing the pain is the way of the creditor being hurt or the lender coming up with innocent taxpayer money, saying it’s unfair that we’re taking all the pain, you’re getting paid 100 cents for a business that couldn’t have paid it if we had not come to the rescue. You have to share equally because that’s fair. Chair WARREN. Okay. Thank you very much, Mr. Bienenstock. I’m through. Mr. McWatters. Mr. MCWATTERS. Thank you. Mr. Bienenstock, when I was reading your written submission, again I was struck by the elegance of it, rather the simplicity of it, which made me think, well, why wasn’t this done, why didn’t other people think of this? Then I got to page four and you say on page four, you say, ‘‘Additionally, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York retained an outstanding law firm and attorney for its work, but the law firm is VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00154 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 149 identified with representing Wall Street institutions, such as JPMorgan, and it would be awkward for it to devise strategies to obtain concessions from those institutions.’’ Could you help me understand that? Mr. BIENENSTOCK. Sure. In this case, I think it sounds to me because of the exigencies of time, the law firm that was probably familiar with the situation, other than AIG’s own law firms, was the law firm being used by JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs to try to come up with a private solution which I heard earlier, I think, was a Monday, September 15, effort. Mr. MCWATTERS. Yes. Mr. BIENENSTOCK. So since they had immersed themselves in the documents, I suppose at least that was one factor why, with waivers granted and full disclosure and all the rest, this was all done properly, I’m sure, that JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs surrendered their counsel effectively to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Those counsel, they are outstanding, as I said, both as a firm and the individual who was leading it, but they are known to represent the Wall Street interests, not that they don’t represent others, but they’re synonymous in the restructuring industry with representing Wall Street interests. So it would be awkward, as I said, for them to concentrate on, ‘‘well, here’s how we might get concessions from counterparties’’, who are their clients in many other matters. Mr. MCWATTERS. Well, I assume this is particularly true, given that two weeks from now they will be back representing JPMorgan and JPMorgan may say, ‘‘yeah, you’re the guy that just came and represented the Fed and came to us and beat us up for a concession.’’ Mr. BIENENSTOCK. Well, and I want to emphasize this was done, I think the Federal Reserve Bank of New York people said earlier, this was done with full waivers, et cetera. It was done totally properly and it’s allowed to be done and it’s often done. In this case, I just think it put counsel in an awkward position and also you’ve heard there are a lot of explanations. I mean not everyone gives my analysis, certainly, maybe no one did, and there were a lot of explanations that were facile for people to latch on to why you should just pay all the creditors all the time. Mr. MCWATTERS. Correct. One last question. If, on September 16, I came to you and retained you and said we’ve just given this entity $85 billion, this entity, AIG, $85 billion, and it’s on a 180 days as a bridge. Can you work out a prepackaged bankruptcy of AIG, working with the insurance companies, the rating agencies, and the like, within a 180 days and reach resolution? Mr. BIENENSTOCK. I would have told you less than a 10 percent likelihood. Let me just amend something I said before. I did, before today, test with restructuring experts, both business and legal, the idea of getting concessions and I was surprised to find out I got unanimous buy-in to that. On the prepack, the reason I’m saying less than a 10 percent likelihood is, as a matter of right, any creditor can ask for an examiner. God knows, there was a lot to examine here. I think that’s what you’re doing. That can take months or years. I would caution you that if you’re doing the bankruptcy after the $85 billion re- VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00155 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 150 volver has been extended, that $85 billion is subject to restructuring in bankruptcy, like all the other debts. Mr. MCWATTERS. Sure. Mr. BIENENSTOCK. Prepackage is a term used most technically for making a deal with everyone in advance, going to court and asking for swift approval of the plan. It basically works when you have a small group of sophisticated parties or you’re just paying everyone in full. Here, if the decision had been made to pay everyone in full, then my answer of less than a 10 percent probability would change. I would say if you’re going to pay everyone in full in that prepack, then yes, you can, more likely than not you can do it in a 180 days, but if you’re not paying everyone in full, I would say the likelihood of dealing with millions of people who have guarantees for their insurance policies, thousands of other types of creditors, including derivative creditors, in six months, it’s nearly impossible. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay. Well, thank you then, and that helps support your solution that you have in your paper. Thanks. Mr. BIENENSTOCK. Thank you. Chair WARREN. Thank you. Mr. Silvers. Mr. SILVERS. Mr. Clark, you, like Mr. Moriarty, have been assigned responsibility by our national government for much of what has happened here. By you, I mean your firm and the other credit rating agencies. I want to offer you the opportunity to, if you dispute what’s been said about the rating agencies by our other witnesses, to do so, but I want to also ask you a very specific question about a different way of thinking about the options available, which is, if, rather than rescuing the parent, all right, the Federal Reserve had chosen to make 13(3) lending available to subsidiaries on an as needed basis, would it have been possible to have maintained the same level of credit rating, by your agency and others that was effectuated by rescuing the parent. And just to make this question a little bit more complicated, do you agree with Mr. Moriarty’s assessment that the subs could have handled their problems around securities lending absent the problems of the over-the-counter derivative business at the parent level? Mr. CLARK. That’s complicated. Mr. SILVERS. That’s complicated. Well three distinct questions. One open ended, the second question is, could you have maintained the credit worthiness of the subs directly and let the parent go? Or, have the parent have go through something like perhaps what Mr. Bienenstock was talking about? And thirdly, is Mr. Moriarty right, that the subs could have handled the securities lending problems without further assistance? Mr. CLARK. Okay, I’m going to leave the open ended one on the table. But if the New York Fed had lent directly to the subsidiaries, I don’t know that they had the authority to do that and I can’t really speak to whether that would have helped the subsidiaries to maintain their credit ratings without understanding what the terms would have been. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00156 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 151 Mr. SILVERS. Well let’s just assume that we’re talking about essentially what happened to the parent, a blank check under 13(3). And you can lend to anybody under 13(3), I think that’s kind of what we’ve learned. But let’s just—I don’t want a legal opinion about whether the Fed had the authority. Let’s just assume the Fed opened the spigot to the subs. Mr. CLARK. Okay. Mr. SILVERS. Could they have opened the spigot wide enough to maintain the credit rating of the subs? Mr. CLARK. I presume that they could have. It’s much, much more complicated when you look at the fact that by lending to AIG, they’re sort of your filter to get money down to the subs. But when you talk about—— Mr. SILVERS. But they’re a filter with a giant hole in it called credit default swaps. Mr. CLARK. Of course, understood. But that was only one of the places that those funds coming from the New York Fed were going. Mr. SILVERS. Right. Mr. CLARK. And when you look at the literally hundreds, when you start looking globally, of regulated and unregulated subsidiaries of AIG, I think it would have been very difficult to get money to all of those. In addition, you had cross guarantees between certain of the subsidiaries, both domestic and foreign, which most often went back to insurance companies regulated in New York or Pennsylvania, not always. It was a very complicated web of relationships really just necessitated by the complex global nature of the group. Mr. SILVERS. So it was simpler to do it at the parent? Mr. CLARK. It was much simpler to do it at the parent. Mr. SILVERS. But you’re not saying you couldn’t have done it? Mr. CLARK. I don’t know that under their authority they could or could not. Mr. SILVERS. Well I’m talking about—— Mr. CLARK. It would have complicated the task. Mr. SILVERS. Right, it would have complicated the task, okay. Do you agree with Mr. Moriarty that the resources were available to the subs to deal with the securities lending problem? Mr. CLARK. I think it’s possible that they could have. I do think though if you look at what happened between September 15 and really the end of the year when the enormity of the financial crisis, the continued investment losses, not only on the securities lending program but on other investment holdings of AIG’s insurance companies and many other insurance companies in the industry. There was a drain there and AIG through its resources from the New York Fed did inject significant capital into the domestic life insurance companies. Could they without the drain of the CDS have handled that themselves given the continued decline of the financial markets, possibly, but it’s difficult to say with any certainty. Mr. SILVERS. One more question. Is it possible, in your opinion, for a major insurance player company to operate with a double B credit rating? Mr. CLARK. It depends on the businesses that they’re in. Assuming they’re diverse—— VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00157 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 152 Mr. SILVERS. Assuming a diversified range of businesses, life and property and casualty—— Mr. CLARK. It’s possible. Mr. SILVERS [continuing]. And investments? Mr. CLARK. It’s possible, and we see it in certain areas. Certain areas of insurance are more confidence-sensitive than others. When you look at some of AIG’s businesses that were high net worth life insurance and annuities, those are very confidence-sensitive, vulnerable to runs on the bank in a severe stress. And the large commercial insurance similarly, not a run on the bank risk, but very sophisticated purchasers of insurance who value credit and would be unlikely to purchase or renew business—— Mr. SILVERS. Double B is below the line, isn’t it? Mr. CLARK. Yeah, definitely. In most buyers’ views it would be. Mr. SILVERS. Mr. Moriarty, do you—I couldn’t tell if you were agreeing or disagreeing. Mr. MORIARTY. No, I disagree with my colleague. The commercial side of the business, whether it be on the property side or the high net worth individual are very rating sensitive and do due diligence in terms of the credit worthiness of the insurance companies that they’re dealing with. But for some personal lines, like auto, and homeowners, arguably they can write at the lower levels. But something below investment grade even would be difficult to write any extensive book of business. Mr. SILVERS. I have one more question. Chair WARREN. Quick. Mr. SILVERS. I’ll be quick. Mr. Bienenstock, can you help us understand, from your general knowledge of these markets and so forth. JPMorgan Chase and AIG, was there a mutual dependency here of some kind during this period? Mr. BIENENSTOCK. Well gee, I’m not—— Mr. SILVERS. Do you have any insight into this? Mr. BIENENSTOCK. I’m not familiar with their contractual relationships. Mr. SILVERS. Okay, thank you. Chair WARREN. Thank you. Dr. Troske. Dr. TROSKE. Thank you. Mr. Moriarty, I guess I’m going to ask a general insurance question. And I’m going to try to put it in as simple terms as possible because I think sometimes we get a little confused by the jargon. AIG was writing credit default swaps, where essentially they were insuring mortgage backed securities. Mr. MORIARTY. AIG Financial Products—— Dr. TROSKE. Yes, some of them. Mr. MORIARTY [continuing]. Yes. Dr. TROSKE. While simultaneously the company was also purchasing mortgage backed securities? Mr. MORIARTY. Correct. Dr. TROSKE. So they were actually purchasing products that they were also insuring? Mr. MORIARTY. Doubling down, yes. Dr. TROSKE. Yes. I’m no financial expert, nor am I an expert in insurance, but that seems rather odd to me that a company would VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00158 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 153 both insure something and then expose themselves even further to the risk that they’re insuring. Is that usual for insurance companies to double down in this fashion? Mr. MORIARTY. No it’s not, actually. You usually try and make sure that the risk on the asset and the liability side do have some—don’t have a high degree of correlation. When we first looked at these securities lending programs it was uncovered by Texas, which has one of the biggest life insurance companies, and they were doing an examination. And they just noted that this thing was growing exponentially and alerted other states. At the time, AIG management had come in to the regulators to explain the program. And you know, we expressed concern about two things. Number one, was the size and number two was the fact that they were investing the cash in securities that were longer dated than the liabilities on the securities lending. So they depended on the counterparties to effectively roll over or else they’d have to liquidate the securities. Then we went into the diversity of these securities which were 60 percent in—over 60 percent in residential mortgage backed securities, which was clearly a high amount. But they brought up the point, these were all Triple A rated, they were all Double A rated residential mortgage backed securities that were in fact diversified because they came from different originators, the collateral was spaced throughout the country, that basically the mortgages. And there hasn’t been a meltdown of the residential mortgage, across the country in the United States, in a long time. Dr. TROSKE. 15 years. Mr. MORIARTY. And so again, from their viewpoint, it wasn’t an imprudent activity, I gave them more investment yield. But nonetheless, just the sheer size of it and the concentration in the RMBS, that they did, at our behest, begin a significant downsizing of it without reporting big losses. And they reduced it by 24 percent in a year, from $76 billion down to $58 billion dollars. And we do things that, you know, again absent the issues at FP and the financial crisis, that the securities lending program would have been wound down. Dr. TROSKE. Let me ask another question too. And it’s actually when you’re doing this, when you’re sort of both insuring and purchasing, and you exacerbate the risk. Because now you’ve got what’s known as a co-variance, the way the two of them move together. Because typically you only have to worry about the changes, potential changes in one. So it’s actually very important if you’re doing both to understand how the things you’re purchasing are going to vary with the things that you’re insuring. Mr. MORIARTY. No, no, I totally agree with you Dr. Troske. I think one of the issues though is that we regulate the insurance company—— Dr. TROSKE. Right. Mr. MORIARTY [continuing]. We do not regulate—— Dr. TROSKE. And I’m asking you just as an insurance expert, not as that you should have been overseeing this because I don’t want VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00159 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 154 to imply that. So let me—and Mr. Clark, as Mr. Moriarty indicated that these were all triple A rated securities or double A rated. But your—when you take, and again I’m going to be real simple here, and this is not particularly what you’ve come to talk to us about—but when they were coming to you with essentially a box of mortgages and S&P was giving a rating on those mortgages, you were rating the mortgages in a box and then the bank would go out and sell them to somebody. But what AIG now had is they had—they were insuring a box over here and they were buying a box over here. You’re not evaluating how those two boxes are going to move together which is a key point for AIG if they’re both insuring and buying. You’re not evaluating the co-variance between those two investments, are you? Well, your triple A—just tell me about the likelihood of loss from these mortgages I own not—— Mr. CLARK. Let me separate out what I can and can’t answer. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Mr. CLARK. First of all, I’m an analyst in our insurance ratings practice—— Dr. TROSKE. Right. Mr. CLARK. [continuing]. Responsible for AIG. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Mr. CLARK. So I can’t speak to how the rating were arrived at and structured financially. Dr. TROSKE. Fine. Mr. CLARK. I can speak to the analysis we did on AIG’s securities lending and its CDS portfolios. Dr. TROSKE. Okay, that would be great. Mr. CLARK. And we were, throughout 2008, analyzing those portfolios and making projections, which we updated publicly to the market throughout the year as to our expectation as to losses that the firm would likely see on those portfolios both. We were looking at both and we were combining the analytics. What we saw, however, was that in the fall of 2008, and very much to Mr. Moriarty’s point that we’d seen housing declines before, but one on a nationwide scale of this depth of magnitude, that was really outside of our assumptions and the assumptions of many in the market. It was quite unprecedented. So we did find that the performance of both of those portfolios, although we modeled them together, looked at the exposure together, the eventual losses did exceed what our expectations were. Dr. TROSKE. Okay, thank you. Chair WARREN. Good. Thank you very much. I want to thank all three panelists, Mr. Bienenstock, Mr. Clark, and Mr. Moriarty. We appreciate your taking the time to be here with us today. This has been very helpful to the panel and will be very helpful to our report. We’re going to call a recess for this panel for half an hour. We’ll start again at a quarter of two. And our first witness at that point will be Clifford Gallant. Thank you. [Whereupon, at 1:14 p.m., a recess was taken.] Chair WARREN. This hearing is back in session. I want to welcome Mr. Gallant, the Managing Director of Property and Casualty VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00160 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 155 Insurance of Keefe, Bruyette, and Woods. Mr. Gallant is an equity research analyst who covers the insurance industry and he’s here to share his thoughts on AIG’s current financial outlook. We appreciate your being here today and I’d like you to make opening remarks if you would and limit them to five minutes. Mr. GALLANT. Okay, thank you for the opportunity. Chair WARREN. Thank you Mr. Gallant. smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING STATEMENT OF CLIFFORD GALLANT, MANAGING DIRECTOR, PROPERTY & CASUALTY INSURANCE RESEARCH, KEEFE, BRUYETTE & WOODS Mr. GALLANT. Yes, on April 27th we published a report on AIG where we downgraded the shares to an Underperform. We put a $6.00 price target on the stock and at the time that was considered somewhat controversial, at the time the stock was trading in the mid–40’s, it’s still in the low 30’s. However, we didn’t view our conclusion that there was not a lot of common equity value in the stock to be all that profound. In fact, we view it to be somewhat self-evident. And by that I think there are two main realities of the company. One is that it’s still dependent on government aide. And I think the evidence of that is in the first quarter that there was further access of government credit lines. The FRBNY loan went from $23.4 billion to $28.9 billion through April. And the Series F, U.S. Treasury-owned securities went from $5.3 to $7.4 billion. Secondly, when we do any type of sum of the parts analysis, or try a valuation of the company it’s just, it’s hard to come up with a positive number. And I think that’s a somewhat obvious reality of the current financial position of the company. I think that investors do need to understand a few key points. One, there is a great franchise beneath this company. The insurance operations have a fantastic global footprint. And I would say that the current management team has done a very good job with the company in terms of stabilizing it, you know to stem the loss of people and of clients. A lot of credit needs to go to them for dealing with what is obviously a difficult situation. That said, I think in terms of valuing the stock there are some things that people have to be aware of. One, is a book value is not a normal book value calculation, right. The debt to equity is something like seven to one. That’s a ratio that most insurance—no other insurance company is at and could not normally operate at. If the U.S. Government were to be replaced with just normal private creditors, I don’t think that they could conduct business. The only reason it does happen is because it is the U.S. Government that is the backer. The earnings that the company is producing do not accrue to the common shareholder in the normal fashion, because there is a preferred shareholder for its stockholder in the Series E stock. That dividend has not been paid, but if they financially get to the point where they can pay that, I assume that that’s where the money’s got to go. They can’t accrue to the common shareholder. So again, you can’t use a normal P/E ratio here to value AIG. And there are a number of book value concerns with the company. I think if we were to have a public offering of the shares on VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00161 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 156 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING a large scale, I think investors would want a discount to book value for several reasons. One, concerns over the quality of property and casualty reserves, valuation of things, like the ILFC, aircraft leasing business. And I think one thing you need to keep in mind as well is that the peer group, the property and casualty life insurance companies today on the market, several of them have redundant capital positions. They’re buying back stock, have leasing reserves and yet they’re all trading below book value. Something like 85/90 percent of book. I got to assume that AIG would trade at a discount to those, those peers. And finally, I think just as the systemic risk fades, I think the treatment of AIG is likely to change. I believe that you know, since September of 2008 as a result of systemic fears, the taxpayer has had to take some losses on AIG, has had to be very generous towards its treatment of AIG. You know, debt has been restructured, top debt was changed into this non-cumulative form. And those things were necessary, needed to be done to keep the company going. But I have to believe as that systemic risk fades, that it’s less likely to happen. I think the taxpayer is going to say, you know, cash expended, needs the resulting cash back into the shareholder’s—taxpayer’s wallet. And is that—and during that process I believe that the common stock will largely be—you’re not going to find a lot of value left for the common shareholder. So, I think it all comes down to a question of—when I talk to the bulls on the stock—that there is value in the company, yet in the same breath there’s this discussion of somehow the taxpayer taking some losses as the government tries to exit its position. And in my point of view that, if anything, indicates that our initial assessment is right. I mean if the taxpayer is expected to take a loss, how can there really be value here in the company? [The prepared statement of Mr. Gallant follows:] VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00162 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00163 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 262 63515.090 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 157 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00164 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 263 63515.091 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 158 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 159 Chair WARREN. Very helpful. Thank you. So let me see if I can just disaggregate this a little bit and figure out what’s going on. Mr. GALLANT. Sure. Chair WARREN. Do you have any assessment of whether or not AIG is likely to need more government assistance to meet its liquidity needs? Mr. GALLANT. In their—they disclose debt that’s coming due throughout this year. You know, even excluding ILFC and AIGFP, there’s something like $10 billion due in 2010. Since AIG is not able to access normal debt markets, I have to believe that they will further draw down on government credit lines to make those payments. Chair WARREN. Okay, do you have any sense, just as you project this out, when the point might come that the government will not be called upon to continue its support for AIG? Before we get to the question—— Mr. GALLANT. Sure. Chair WARREN [continuing]. Of unwinding the interest—— Mr. GALLANT. Absolutely, yeah. Chair WARREN [continuing]. That we already have there. Mr. GALLANT. No, that’s a good question and I can’t really answer. I think AIGFP, as that portfolio winds down, that would seem to be at least one indication of less systemic risk being posed by AIG. You know I think that the insurance subsidiaries, as I know other panels have discussed today, are probably financially stable and sound. And so that is probably not a reason to wait. It seems to me that the systemic risk seems to reside in the parent company. Chair WARREN. So, actually, let me ask it in a slightly different way. What are the conditions that need to be met? And we’ll take them in all, that the government doesn’t have to put more money in and then we can talk about the second one, about how the government starts unwinding its position. What do we need to see happen? We’ve got two sales—AIG has two sales pending, right? So I presume part of it would be the completion of those sales? Mr. GALLANT. Right, right. That’s a big step, right? You really start to see—again, cash back into the taxpayer’s wallet. You know I think the ability for AIG to access debt markets in a normal fashion would be a—is a key to—— Chair WARREN. It would be a very good sign when you can see AIG borrowing in the debt market? Mr. GALLANT. That’s right. That’s right. Presumably with the expectation that they’ll be able to internally generate the funds to repay that debt. Chair WARREN. That’s right. Mr. GALLANT. Yeah, I think those are the big things that we would expect to see over the next year. Chair WARREN. Okay. I noted in your written testimony you talk about how the current structure is unsustainable and that some sort of resolution must occur. Mr. GALLANT. Yes. Chair WARREN. Can you just elaborate—— VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00165 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 160 Mr. GALLANT. Sure. Chair WARREN [continuing]. A little bit on that? Mr. GALLANT. Well simply that the government—— Chair WARREN. That wasn’t all the way to a blueprint. Mr. GALLANT. Yeah, well the government doesn’t want to be a permanent investor in AIG. That’s basically the bottom line for me. And I think if you were going to value the common stock, if you want to invest in this company, you have to assume that the government is going to get out. And so that’s the approach we took in coming up with our price target. Chair WARREN. Okay. Very valuable, thank you very much. Mr. McWatters. Mr. MCWATTERS. Thank you. The Congressional Budget Office says the taxpayers may lose $36 billion dollars on AIG, and OMB says about $50 billion dollars. Do you have a guess as to whether or not these numbers are anywhere near accurate? Or can you see a larger or smaller number? Mr. GALLANT. Yeah, that’s a very difficult question to answer. I think the current debt outstanding is something like $79 billion. I’ve come up with my assessment of what the earnings power of the ongoing operations is—something like $2.8 billion a year. You could put a 10 to 15 multiple on that, add the gain that you expect on the operations that are to be sold and you’re still short of what you need to cover a loss. So it might be—it still seems like that will be difficult for the taxpayer to break even. Mr. MCWATTERS. If it was your job, how would you restructure AIG? How would you make it stronger? Mr. GALLANT. That’s probably beyond me to answer. But I would say that probably as a first step, I think there needs to be a test of what the common value, what the market price is for the common stock. You know the government does have the 80 percent ownership in the form of warrants. A public offering of part of those, part of that ownership might tell you what the market really does think AIG is worth. And that is a sort of a starting point as to where you can sort of go from there. Mr. MCWATTERS. Do you think AIG is solvent? Or is it just simply getting along on its implicit government guarantee? Mr. GALLANT. I think the government guarantee is intrinsic to its ability to conduct business on a daily basis. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay, okay. So it’s possible, or I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I guess you’re—is it possible AIG cannot be solvent? Mr. GALLANT. If the government were to walk away today and you know, pull back all its support, then AIG would be a—— Mr. MCWATTERS. Oh, sure. Mr. GALLANT [continuing]. Would not be in a position to be able to conduct business. Mr. MCWATTERS. In your testimony or in some interviews I think you said that AIG has the potential to become—the government has the potential to be embarrassed by AIG. What did you mean by that? Mr. GALLANT. You know I think I was just referencing the fact that AIG is obviously a very high profile name. There have been VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00166 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 161 other high profile issues, you know, the compensation for the people at AIGFP about a year ago was obviously a big embarrassment. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay. Mr. GALLANT. And you just want to—you don’t want to have that risk out there. Mr. MCWATTERS. And I’ll close by just asking, what is your current outlook on AIG? Mr. GALLANT. We maintain our $6.00 price target. We’re advising our clients not to buy the stock. Mr. MCWATTERS. Is that because 80 percent is owned by the government and there’s only 20 percent outstanding and there’s so much pressure that ultimately that 20 percent just might get crushed? Mr. GALLANT. Yes, eventually that’s right. I mean we believe that, as I said, as the government exits its position and tries to repay the taxpayer, there’s not going to be a lot left for the common shareholder. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay, thank you. Chair WARREN. Thank you. Mr. Silvers. Mr. SILVERS. In a way I want to revisit my colleague, Mr. McWatters’ questioning in a different way. Obviously, you write analyst reports for private investors in AIG’s equity in particular—— Mr. GALLANT. Sure. Mr. SILVERS [continuing]. Who are junior to the government, right? We are talking to you about the interest of the government. Mr. GALLANT. Right. Mr. SILVERS. That’s the investor we represent, in a sense. So from what you were saying, it seems to me that you’re basically saying there’s not enough earning power, or cash flow power, so to speak, in this firm to support not only the stock price as it is today. I mean it’s an astounding gap between what it is and what you say it should be, but perhaps not enough to even support repaying the government ultimately. Is that—am I reading back to you what you were saying, correct? Mr. GALLANT. Yes, that’s correct. Mr. SILVERS. And AIG is currently drawing, as you point out, drawing on the government’s, on the Fed’s line of credit. Not paying down, but drawing. Mr. GALLANT. That’s right. Mr. SILVERS. Now if you put those two things together, doesn’t that suggest that from the government’s perspective, not just as a senior, and a senior equity holder to the common, but as the continuing source of funding, right? That what we ought to, what the government ought to, be doing is demanding hair cuts from other investors in order to get this company to function properly. Or is there some other path here? Is there a way to get growth out of this firm? To get growth in earnings or in cash flow out of this firm? Is there an expectation that the market will view the underlying assets of AIG differently in the future? And I’m particularly interested in your perspective on AIG as a global firm given what seems to be happening in the global economy right now, as of today. Mr. GALLANT. Well in terms of the ability for the company to increase its earning power or cash flow. You know you are in a dif- VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00167 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 162 ficult environment right now. Obviously the global economy is not on sound footing yet. And actually the insurance businesses are in a somewhat difficult environment as well. The property and casualty business prices are going down throughout the industry. And the profit outlook, at least our view of the profit outlook for the property and casualty, is not great. So the backdrop is not good. You know, AIG of course is still, even in the continuing operations, under earning what it once did. So there is always the potential to recapture some of that lost value. And I would say that the current management team seems to at least be moving towards that as they’ve stemmed the flow of lost employees and all. But, you know, in terms of another route, I don’t see it. I mean I think it’s a very difficult road ahead of them. Mr. SILVERS. I’m sorry, in terms of—you don’t see what? Mr. GALLANT. No, I’m sorry, I thought you were asking about a second—in terms of generating more, additional earnings power. Mr. SILVERS. You don’t see a way to generate additional earnings power by a multiplier effect. By the way, and this is sort of unfair, but your somewhat radically pessimistic view, does that make you a maverick so to speak? I mean I just find it extraordinary the difference between a current market price of $44.00 in what is an active trading market, and then your view of $6.00. Mr. GALLANT. It’s hard—that is—I ask myself that question a lot. You know I think there are a few factors. I think for one, it is a complicated scenario. I mean AIG’s balance sheet is not a typical balance sheet. It does have a stated book value number of $37.00, $36.00 and that I believe is a misleading number. But you know, it is out there. There is the underlying value of the company. Right, these insurance companies which are, like you said, it’s a great global franchise. And that’s actually a very frustrating thing for those who were watching the company in 2008 as well. I was an analyst then and you saw all these underlying earnings that were very strong and you had this great franchise. It was hard to believe that the stock was zero. There’s also been a series of good headlines. As I say, management has done a good job—— Mr. SILVERS. Right. Mr. GALLANT [continuing]. And there’s been some good headlines over the last year or so. Mr. SILVERS. But fundamentally—— Mr. GALLANT. Yeah. Mr. SILVERS [continuing]. You don’t have a critique of what management is doing, you know I don’t hear one. What you basically have is a critique that there are too many claimants on the cash flows to support either the stock price or the Government getting paid back? Mr. GALLANT. That’s—yes, that’s ultimately correct. Mr. SILVERS. All right. Why is that not sort of a no-brainer in terms of that the government shouldn’t really give this firm any more money until the existing claimants take haircuts? Mr. GALLANT. You know I think the—— Mr. SILVERS. I mean what other choice—— Mr. GALLANT. Sure. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00168 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 163 Mr. SILVERS. What other choice do we have? Mr. GALLANT. Yeah, I can connect that to the question about the stock price. Because I think the bulls on the stock believe that through exiting, the government is going to be very generous as it tries to exit its position in AIG. Whether—that could mean walking away from things—walking away from ownership interests or forgiving parts of loans. You know I’ve—this is through private conversations with investors. Mr. SILVERS. Do these people talk to their fellow citizens? Do they have any notion of what would occur if that—if we started handing out public money to the private investors in AIG in that way? Mr. GALLANT. That’s the argument. And to be fair, I think the reason that they might have held that view is that the government has been generous to AIG already, right? You know taking the top debt, which paid an interest, had an interest payment attached to it and shifting it to a preferred status that’s non-cumulative, very generous acts. Interest rates have been changed for the company. You know government-owned debt has been moved from AIG’s balance sheet to off balance sheet vehicles, which has lowered them out of debt that AIG itself owes, but with only a fraction of the result actually ending up back in the taxpayer’s wallet. So I think there’s reason for the investors to think that perhaps that will continue. Mr. SILVERS. Thank you. Chair WARREN. Thank you very much Mr. Gallant. Thank you, Mr. Silvers. Professor Troske. Dr. TROSKE. Thank you. You can call me Mr. If you really—— Chair WARREN. Oh, okay. Dr. TROSKE. That doesn’t bother me. So I just want to follow-up a little bit and I guess I’m going to try to be very straight forward and clear. Basically—the stock price is, I believe, $33.00 you said. Mr. GALLANT. Yeah. Dr. TROSKE. And you’re estimate is it should be $6.00. So you’re basically saying there are a lot of people out there that are making a mistake. Is that a fair assessment? Mr. GALLANT. Yeah, I think buying the stock today is a mistake. Dr. TROSKE. Okay, or if you owned it right now, if someone owned it, would you advise them to sell it? Mr. GALLANT. Yes I would. Dr. TROSKE. Okay, I just want to—and I guess you’ve elaborated a little bit on what you think the, where the mistake is coming from. And I read it as you’re saying, it’s really hard to figure out what this company is worth so we could get a bunch of different guesses. The market’s got a guess, you’ve got a different guess. It’s hard—— Mr. GALLANT. That’s fair. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Mr. GALLANT. And in addition, that is a thesis of the government, as an interest. Dr. TROSKE. Okay, and yes, thank you, that’s right. You did mention that the subsidiaries were solid. If I could remove them from the structure, just reach down, pull out and make them independent. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00169 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 164 Mr. GALLANT. Sure. Dr. TROSKE. What would they be worth? Do you have a guess? And is that something equivalent to what we’re—I mean is the price coming from this implicit value of at some point maybe we could just sort of remove them from—— Mr. GALLANT. Sure. I still think there is significant value in those insurance subsidiaries. I’d say the earnings power of the domestic life company, the ongoing operations, the ongoing insurance operations you know, could be $40, $50 billion dollars if they could in fact be, as you say, removed from the parent company. Dr. TROSKE. Okay, okay. And is there a way to actually do that without sort of—that you can see going forward that we can just sort of remove them from that and just keep that entity whole, which seems to be producing value for the market. There are parts of it that are a valuable company. There’s parts of it that seem to be a very valuable company. Mr. GALLANT. I mean you know, you could always sell the operations, right? Which would separate it and immediately recognize some value. Dr. TROSKE. And so why don’t we? Mr. GALLANT. [No response.] Dr. TROSKE. You don’t know. Mr. GALLANT. Well I think that there is, if you want to try to pay back the full amounts of the loans, you need an asset to create value to pay that back. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Mr. GALLANT. And so you can’t, you can’t remove all of the earnings generators. Dr. TROSKE. That’s all. Chair WARREN. Thank you very much. Thank you Mr. Gallant. We appreciate it, thank you for being here today. Mr. GALLANT. Thank you. Chair WARREN. And Mr. Benmosche if you could join us. Robert Benmosche is the President and Chief Executive Officer of AIG. Mr. Benmosche joined AIG as CEO in August of 2009. Mr. Benmosche when you’re ready, welcome. Mr. BENMOSCHE. Thank you. Chair WARREN. Five minutes for an opening statement. Mr. BENMOSCHE. Okay. Chair WARREN. Thank you. smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING STATEMENT OF ROBERT BENMOSCHE, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP, INC. Mr. BENMOSCHE. First of all, I appreciate the opportunity to be here with all of you and describe AIG’s progress in stabilizing the company, preserving and growing the value of our businesses, reducing our risk, and repaying the taxpayers. I joined, as you said, in August of 2009 with a priority goal of stabilizing the company and boosting employee morale, a high priority. Throughout my years in the insurance industry, I respected AIG as a company and as a competitor. And in just nine months at the company, I can see substantial progress in redefining our strategy and in restoring credibility and VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00170 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 165 confidence in AIG. Of course, were it not for the commitment of the U.S. Government at a time of great uncertainty, AIG would not be on the path it is today. I want to thank the Government and the American taxpayer. Since receiving that support, AIG has worked in close coordination with the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury. We appreciate very much the constructive role that they have played. Today, AIG remains a significant contributor to the U.S. economy and a critical provider of financial security to countless communities and individuals across the country. AIG has over 40,000 hard working and dedicated employees across the nation. Tens of millions of Americans are employed by entities that are protected by our commercial insurance. AIG is also one of the largest holders of municipal bonds, providing a much needed source of capital for municipalities to build new schools and better roads. Chartis, our property and casualty group, had gross written premiums of more than $40 billion dollars in 2009, serving more than 40 million customers around the world. SunAmerica Financial Group, our life and retirement services business, is one of the largest life insurance organizations in the U.S., and served more than 16 million customers in 2009. And ILFC, our aviation leasing company, has a fleet of approximately 1,000 aircraft and has purchased more Boeing aircraft than any other airline or leasing company since 1990. At AIG, we take seriously the responsibility that comes with being so heavily integrated with the U.S. economy and we are well on our way to remaking AIG into a more streamlined and focused company with sound, well-managed businesses, a transparent and consistent governance system and a stable risk profile and capital structure. Prior to my arrival, AIG had focused on repaying taxpayers by moving quickly to divest certain parts of the organization. I was concerned that this course of action might not enable AIG to repay the aid the company had received. So I immediately set about to change this approach and secure greater value for the taxpayers. This strategy is beginning to pay off. We recently announced the sales of AIA and ALICO for approximately $51 billion dollars, nearly $30 billion in cash and approximately $21 billion dollars in securities. AIA and ALICO both have demonstrated in these sales our inherent strength in our brands and the success of our strategy to maximize the value of our assets. Once closed, they will mean that AIG can repay the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with cash and sell securities over time to further repay the government. Our successes are now being reflected in the marketplace. Chartis reported a first quarter operating profit of $879 million dollars compared to a $710 million dollar profit the year before, a 24 percent increase. SunAmerica Financial Group reported first quarter operating income of $1.1 billion dollars compared to an operating loss of $160 million in the first quarter of 2009. In a sign of market confidence, ILFC has raised $4 billion dollars from private markets. And I might add, parenthetically, that is both secured and unsecured credit markets. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00171 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 166 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING And AIG financial products continues to make substantial progress in reducing and de-risking its portfolio from a high of over $2 trillion dollars at the end of 2008 to $755 billion dollars as of March 31, 2010. These many accomplishments are enabled by the dedicated and tireless efforts of tens of thousands of AIG employees. At AIG, it is critical that we strike the right balance between paying competitively and ensuring that pay levels are appropriate in light of our government support. We are implementing new compensation programs to create a consistent performance management culture, one that aligns our employees’ day to day activities with the interests of our stakeholders. And with this approach, we are retaining top talent as well as attracting new talent to help manage our businesses. Chair Warren and Members of the Panel, I am confident that AIG is now on a clear path to repaying the taxpayers. I thank you for this opportunity to bring you up to date and look forward to your questions. [The prepared statement of Mr. Benmosche follows:] VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00172 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00173 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 282 here 63515.092 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 167 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00174 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 283 here 63515.093 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 168 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00175 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 284 here 63515.094 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 169 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00176 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 285 here 63515.095 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 170 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00177 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 286 here 63515.096 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 171 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00178 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 287 here 63515.097 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 172 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00179 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 288 here 63515.098 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 173 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00180 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 289 here 63515.099 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 174 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00181 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 290 here 63515.100 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 175 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00182 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 291 here 63515.101 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 176 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00183 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 292 here 63515.102 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 177 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00184 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 293 here 63515.103 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 178 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00185 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 294 here 63515.104 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 179 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00186 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 295 here 63515.105 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 180 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00187 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 296 here 63515.106 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 181 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 182 Chair WARREN. Thank you very much Mr. Benmosche, we appreciate you being here today. Do you anticipate that AIG will need any more taxpayer money? Mr. BENMOSCHE. Right now, we don’t anticipate that. We are looking at where we’re at. We’re still dealing with minor cash flow issues. But if you look at the success we had with ILFC—keep in mind we’ve been able to raise, with some sales of assets in the secured and unsecured markets, as well as renegotiating our bank lines after a lot of work with the banks examining our success there. That’s almost an $8 billion dollar improvement. We were also able to raise in the market, with securitized financing, $3.5 billion dollars to support American General Finance. So thus far, as we continue to operate our company strongly, profitably, we show that we’re retaining people, we’re retaining business, we’re showing new sales, all of the things you want with strong, vibrant companies. We’re beginning to see we get more access to financing. So we would hope not. Chair WARREN. Well we all hope not. What we’re trying to do is just pin down a bit more. So when Mr. Gallant says he doesn’t think you’re going to be able to make it through the year without having to call on taxpayer funds, you’re saying you think the combination of sales of major assets, the renegotiation of some of the outstanding debt, and raising more money in debt markets will be enough to meet your cash needs as they go forward? I just want to make sure I’m getting the strategy right. Mr. BENMOSCHE. We, at this stage of the game, we look at, we have a credit line with the Federal Reserve. Chair WARREN. Yeah. Mr. BENMOSCHE. And so we see that as going up and going down. So you’ll see, based upon activities or cash flows we may come down a little bit, we may go back up again. So we see that as a line of credit that we’re using, that we have available until 2013. Chair WARREN. Okay. Mr. BENMOSCHE. We also, we’ll go through certain activities like, we went to the Treasury and in order to strengthen the insurance company—keep in mind, that for AIG, our insurance companies are strong, and we want to make them stronger. And that’s important because our clients look to us for our promises and our guarantees. And so therefore, when the state of Pennsylvania says that they’re concerned about Chartis, the property and casualty insurer owning stock in the aircraft leasing company, and they say they’re concerned about that being in their capital, they’d like us to remove it. Then if it strengthens the insurance company, which allows us to be able to continue to compete in the marketplace, we did in fact ask for money to be able to do that shift from the property and casualty company into the AIG holdings. So there is some of that financing going on, but it’s only to make sure that we maintain solid strength in all of our insurance companies. And I don’t see a huge amount of demand to do that between now and the end of the year. Chair WARREN. Okay, so you think that you both have the cash to meet your needs for loans that are coming due, for payments that are coming due, and that the only time you’ll be drawing down VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00188 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 183 on government funds will be in order to strengthen the capital position of the individual insurance subsidiaries, is that right? Mr. BENMOSCHE. That’s correct. Chair WARREN. I just want to make sure I’ve got the—— Mr. BENMOSCHE. Right, so for example, we are planning once the markets settle down, and here these are very unstable markets—— Chair WARREN. Okay. Mr. BENMOSCHE [continuing]. As we can all read and see. We would like to repay the Fed their $4 billion dollars they lent ILFC. We believe that we can take some of the collateral that they’ve had holding against that $4 billion, we can go to the marketplace and raise the additional money to pay down $4 billion dollars to the Federal Reserve. Now we may decide to pay it down and we may need $500 million later on. So there will be some of that up and down. But we see major activities now, between now and the end of the year, to begin to reduce the amount of money we owe the Federal Reserve. Chair WARREN. Now I note that Mr. Gallant was complimentary of the way that you have managed the company since you’ve taken over. But what I’d like to hear, if you have the strategy mapped out, what are the biggest challenges to the strategy, what are the risks? What are you know, where are the places that you might run into trouble and see problems? Mr. BENMOSCHE. To me, the greatest risk has been the day-today operations of the insurance companies in particular. We have never had a problem, through this entire crisis, with the insurance companies. They are well regulated, very well regulated by the states and by the countries we do business within. And so they have made sure that all of the things we do are protected for the policyholders. So we have to make sure we run those businesses successfully and we make sure that we have the right capital in those businesses and we have the right risk-based capital ratios that are expected in those businesses. And that we show that we can retain and attract people, that we can be able to retain our current customers, and we can grow new customers as a vibrant, strong, operating unit, that’s a successful company. That’s our highest priority, and that’s what we’re focused on. The second priority is to show that we can exit the support of the U.S. Government in a way that we’re left with an investment grade company that people will continue to feel confidence and support in. Chair WARREN. Let me just focus you though, Mr. Benmosche. Mr. BENMOSCHE. Sure. Chair WARREN. I do understand that these are the goals, and of course I’ve read your testimony. My question was, the places that you see the most risk in not meeting those goals? Mr. BENMOSCHE. By talking about not being able to achieve good operational results. Chair WARREN. Good, that’s what I needed. Mr. BENMOSCHE. Pretty simple. Chair WARREN. Thank you sir. Mr. BENMOSCHE. All right. Took too long. Chair WARREN. Mr. McWatters. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00189 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 184 Mr. MCWATTERS. Thank you, and thank you for attending the hearing today. It appears that you will not need additional TARP funds, at least that’s what you just said. Today, in your opinion, is AIG a solvent entity? Mr. BENMOSCHE Absolutely. Mr. MCWATTERS. Great, great. You also said, in your opening statement, that you intended to pay back the taxpayers. You didn’t say, I’m going to pay back everything but $5 billion or $50 billion. It sounded like the intent is to pay back everything. Mr. BENMOSCHE. I believe that we will pay back all that we owe the U.S. Government. And I believe at the end of the day, the U.S. Government will make an appropriate profit. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay, the CBO says we, meaning the taxpayers, will lose $36 billion and the OMB says we will lose $50 billion. So there’s a spread here, it’s a big spread. Can you help me close this gap in my own head to understand how you can pay back everything, how you can run the company, pay back everything when the CBO and OMB say to the contrary? Mr. BENMOSCHE. I would love them to be able to let me buy back everything that we owe and go to investors and take a $50 billion loss. I would be able to hit that bid tomorrow. And the fact is, nobody will sell it to me for a $50 billion loss. Because the fact is, we are a strong, vibrant company that’s worth a lot of money. I can’t tell you how they do their analysis, but I am confident you’re going to get your money plus a profit. Mr. MCWATTERS. Well then specifically, what is the exit strategy? I mean, when you come up with one, if you had to write a onepage exit strategy to pay back the taxpayers, what would it be? Mr. BENMOSCHE. The first goal is to make sure that we pay back the Federal Reserve. And so we are working hard to monetize the assets that we have. We are continuing to look at other strategies and different forms of monetization. So the key is to pay back the $52 billion. Once that is paid back and the Fed is completely covered, and keep in mind again, we’re doing that as quickly as we can knowing that we have a 2013 date, we still would like to get it done this year or next year, if at all possible. That’s our goal. These sales give us a tremendous shot at getting that done. And then we’re going to continue to monetize. So once the Fed is covered, then we’re going to begin to talk with the U.S. Treasury about how they deal with the preferreds. Mr. MCWATTERS. How about return to profitability? It’s one thing to sell a subsidiary, take the cash, pay down the debt. But how do you return AIG systemically, to a profitable company? Mr. BENMOSCHE. If you look at our first quarter, in fact, if you look at our fourth quarter where we reported a huge loss, if you look at what were the components of that loss, we actually made a profit. And so I believe that you’re looking at a company that once we sell off the companies that we’ve talked about, or assets that we’ve talked about, I still think we’re talking about a company that could earn, in 2011, without extraordinary charges and goodwill charges, and all these other things, I believe we have a company that can earn between $6 billion and $8 billion after taxes. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00190 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 185 So it is a substantial earner. If you look at the first quarter of Chartis, we had a huge earthquake in Chile, that cost us a lot of money because we’re a huge insurer and so we covered a lot of damage. If you look at this quarter, we have the Gulf and the issues in the Gulf. We’re going to take losses there as well. In spite of those losses, those catastrophe losses, we are still showing a healthy profit in Chartis. And if you look at our retirement business, and life and retirement business, we’re also showing healthy profits. So we are restoring all of the aspects of AIG to profitability right now. Mr. MCWATTERS. On Financial Products, are you making money winding down Financial Products or are you losing money? Mr. BENMOSCHE. If you look at our numbers, right now I think basically we’re holding our own, breaking sort of even. Keep in mind that one of the variables that occurs, is that we have a lot of debt against that business. And it’s one of the anomalies of our accounting system. As people become more concerned about AIG, it actually improves the profitability of Financial Products because our spreads widen and therefore we can take an earnings, which is unfortunate, we shouldn’t do that but we do, that’s how we account for it. So in bad times we look better and in good times we look worse. But I will tell you that if you take all of that accounting out of the noise you will see that we’re de-risking. The team has done an absolutely outstanding job. We are fortunate that they’re still there. They’re fortunate, even though they were vilified inappropriately, that they are working as hard as they can to de-risk this book, sell off the book, and do it in a break-even to slight profit. Mr. MCWATTERS. When they close out a credit default swap, are they currently closing them out at par or are they attempting to negotiate discounts? Mr. BENMOSCHE. We negotiate what we can negotiate in the marketplace from a position of strength. So I don’t have the analysis. So I’m going to give you how much of that is at what level. But I will tell you that when we look at the market value and what the anticipated market values could be, and where we think is a good optimum position where we’re getting a good price and getting out, and dealing with, in effect, de-risking the company from where we have collateral potential calls and so on. I think they’re doing an excellent job of getting good prices. They were not getting good prices a year ago. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay. Mr. BENMOSCHE. We were getting hammered a year ago in the marketplace. That has changed dramatically. Mr. MCWATTERS. Did it change because of the personnel within Financial Products, or the market? Mr. BENMOSCHE. It changed because the market realized that we were going to change our approach. That we’re not going to liquidate this company. And therefore, the Street realized that if they wanted to negotiate with us, they have to negotiate with us from a position of strength. Mr. MCWATTERS. Yeah, if it’s possible to let us know in general terms if you’re able to negotiate discounts that would be helpful. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00191 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 186 Mr. BENMOSCHE. I think it’s more about trading and selling and doing things. And I think we’re not—I’d have to go back and have the people give you an exact answer. I don’t have that. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay, fair enough. Chair WARREN. Thank you. Mr. Silvers. Mr. SILVERS. Mr. Benmosche, I’m sort of interested in the contradiction or the contrast between your testimony, Mr. Gallant’s testimony, and the testimony of Mr. Clark from S&P. Can you (a) explain to me your understanding of the difference between your estimation of the company’s earning power going forward, after your asset sales, and Mr. Gallant’s? And can you (b) explain to me if your general characterization of your company’s financial position is consistent with S&P’s view that absent government support you’re Double B? Mr. BENMOSCHE. I can’t comment on Mr. Gallant, you’ll have to get him to figure it out. I know what I’m running, I know the company I’m running, and I have confidence in this company, and I know what I’m talking about. So you’ll have to see whether he understands the company as well as I do. Mr. SILVERS. Mr. Benmosche, that’s not an acceptable answer. Mr. BENMOSCHE. Okay. Mr. SILVERS. You know we represent your majority stockholder, or at least we kind of do. We are trying to look out for your majority stockholder. I am frankly frightened by what Mr. Gallant said on behalf of the American public. And I would like you to explain specifically with reference to numbers why he’s wrong. Mr. BENMOSCHE. I have not looked at his report. I’d be glad to have a team of people study it and do a side-by-side. We did that when we had a report that said that we had an $11 billion hole in our reserves. It was written by Bernstein, and in fact, you found out we did not have an $11 billion hole. We actually went through that report, showed them why they were wrong, and they still went forward with it. So I’m happy to do that for him as well. Mr. SILVERS. Well perhaps there’s a different—perhaps I can put it in a different way. Explain to me how you get from today’s operating results to the type of cash flows that you were just describing, the $6 billion to $8 billion range in 2011. How do you get from here to there? Mr. BENMOSCHE. Well look at the first quarter. If you look at the first quarter we made $879 million—— Mr. SILVERS. Right. Mr. BENMOSCHE [continuing]. In Chartis. Mr. SILVERS. Okay. Mr. BENMOSCHE. Okay, with casualty losses in Chile. If you look at what we did in our SunAmerica, we had a strong result of almost a billion dollars. If we continue to operate all the other companies at break-even to a positive, and just deal with those two companies alone, and deliver the times four, you get pretty close to the number. And so I would say to you that if you look at our results for the fourth quarter, without extraordinary charges, if you look at where we were in the first quarter—— VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00192 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 187 Mr. SILVERS. Mr. Benmosche, I’m missing something. Your total operating income at corporate level in first quarter of this year was $800 million, I multiply that times four, I get $3.6—— Mr. BENMOSCHE. I don’t know what number you’re referring to then. We made a profit of $1.4 billion in the first quarter. Mr. SILVERS. I’m talking about your operating income which is, I think, kind of more relevant to what we’re talking about, is it not? Mr. BENMOSCHE. You have to look at all of the pluses and minuses, all of the accounting charges. For example, we have to take the charge of the fee that is assumed by the government taking 80 percent ownership of $23 billion. We take charges of between $500 million and $800 million a quarter to amortize a $23 billion fee which represents the price we pay for the line of credit from the Federal Reserve. So in effect, we pay $23 billion in points for an $85 billion—— Mr. SILVERS. But if you’re a Double B—— Mr. BENMOSCHE [continuing]. Which is more—— Mr. SILVERS. But if you’re a Double B credit without support from the government, aren’t you going to have to replace that with comparably expensive capital? Mr. BENMOSCHE. We’re going to replace it. And I don’t know how expensive it will be. And keep in mind what S&P said today, we’re a Double B. As we begin to achieve our plans we’ll be investment grade by the end of the year. Mr. SILVERS. You can imagine, I think our concern is about just the gap between different assessments here. I would very much welcome, and I’m sure the other panel members would welcome a more detailed explanation of how you think you’re going to not be a Double B without government support. Which seems to me to be critical to the question of whether or not you know, your representations about the likely outcome here for the public, being paid back in full with a respectable profit, are realistic and can be realized. You know, I think we have heard, I think in general, a great deal of support and a number of compliments for the way that you’ve managed the company so far. But you know we, I think we need to see some support for what the likely outcomes are here and why we don’t have a structural problem. A problem not really susceptible to managerial skill. If I might turn and ask you a different question. Some have suggested including I think one of my colleagues, including Professor Troske, have suggested that we really ought to be selling assets more quickly. I would—I know that’s not been your view. Can you explain why that—and I’ll put my cards on the table, I’m sympathetic to your position. I think selling assets prematurely is a certain way to realize losses. But I’d appreciate to hear it from you, in your own words, why you’ve taken that view and what the benefit has been for the public as an investor in AIG? Mr. BENMOSCHE. I think so far you have seen prices improve. I think at one point, they were thinking of selling AIA for the high teens. And so we got a very aggressive price. And other properties that are out there we are finding people willing to come to the table and talk to us about more value. Because you cannot buy a VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00193 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 188 business that is in trouble, number one. And number two, you have to sell when the time is right. And we have to make sure that we’re prudent, we move as quickly as we can. But so far, even for example, in Financial Products, we probably would have been down an additional $5 billion had we rushed the sales and tried to de-risk that business too quickly. And so now that we’ve reduced—taken the risk out, de-risked it, you’re going to see the fact that we have the money that’s here. Sometimes it’s not obvious that we didn’t make it, but we didn’t lose it. So I can only tell you that as we move, we’re moving quickly. We’re finding more people coming to the table. More people wanting to invest with us. I think you’ll see more options open up. We just met with Boeing, as you know, we’re a large customer of Boeing and our goal is to continue to buy Boeing aircraft. But Boeing is going to work with the XM Bank with us and others to be able to get sources of capital to continually invest and to continually strengthen that business over time. That will provide good operating earnings. So throughout the company, at all levels, we’re looking at ways to improve our position, strengthen our position, and then find appropriate buyers when it makes sense. And I think we will do that as quickly as we can. We’re not just sitting here saying, let’s wait for 2013, but you got to do it when the market’s right. For example—— Chair WARREN. Okay, I’m going to stop you there Mr. Benmosche. Mr. SILVERS. Thank you. Chair WARREN. Thank you. And I appreciate your offer to provide the numbers. And we’d like to have those numbers for the record on the Gallant analysis, why you have a different analysis on the profit projections, where those are coming from, and on the credit rating. Mr. BENMOSCHE. I’ll bet you my staff—I just heard her say that they’re watching the TV, and I’ll bet you they’re off and running already. Chair WARREN. I’m delighted to hear that. Mr. BENMOSCHE. I’m sure they’re running right now. Chair WARREN. We will hold the record open so that we will be able to get those numbers. Mr. BENMOSCHE. I’m not sure I’ll have it in the next hour, but they’re working on it. Chair WARREN. That sounds good. Professor Troske. Dr. TROSKE. Thank you. I guess so I don’t want you to ask you to comment on a report that you didn’t write or maybe haven’t even read. But the previous witness said his guess was $6.00, the market says $33.00. Do you have a guess as to what you think the share price for AIG should be? Just your own opinion? Mr. BENMOSCHE. Totally inappropriate to even comment. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Mr. BENMOSCHE. I wouldn’t. Dr. TROSKE. Okay, that’s fine. You seem to suggest that you can operate in the—you are borrowing money in an unsecured credit VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00194 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 189 market, so you are operating in the debt market, is that what I heard you say? That you—— Mr. BENMOSCHE. At ILFC, we have done that. Dr. TROSKE. Okay, and so the previous witness said that you couldn’t borrow money and you’re telling us you can? Mr. BENMOSCHE. No, I’m telling you I borrowed $2.7 billion—— Dr. TROSKE. You did. Mr. BENMOSCHE [continuing]. For ILFC aircraft leasing unsecured, without a guarantee from AIG. Dr. TROSKE. So can you give me, I guess some more background. Exactly when you say you’re you know, spinning AIGFP down. Exactly as you are removing the risk from AIGFP, is that going to be—is that part of the long term solution for the company? Do you view AIGFP continuing to be a part of AIG in the long run? Mr. BENMOSCHE. I do not. Dr. TROSKE. Okay, and so can you describe to me a little how you, how you’re going to move from where you are today to a company that looks a little different? Mr. BENMOSCHE. Well I think what’s important now is we focus on the core businesses of AIG—— Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Mr. BENMOSCHE [continuing]. Which is the insurance companies. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Mr. BENMOSCHE. What you have is a lot of other companies were created outside that entity, which you heard a lot about. I think we should minimize all of those, which were basically trading the Triple A of the insurance companies, and being able to borrow in the market short, and then begin to do things with assets long. And so those kinds of carry trade kinds of businesses, we need to stop. That’s not a business we should be in. We should be in a solid business that talks about, we provide protection in various forms, whether it’s property, casualty, life, annuities, and so on. And those should be the primary businesses that we’ll run, and run them in a way that they’re not over-leveraged. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Okay, and so that’s essentially your vision of what your company is going to look like at the end of the day when you are out of all of this, these problems, focus primarily on the core insurance businesses. Mr. BENMOSCHE. We will be the world’s largest property and casualty insurer with a strong life and annuity business in the United States and other selected businesses that will enhance that nucleus and core. Dr. TROSKE. Okay, thank you. Chair WARREN. Mr. Benmosche, I have been struck as I’ve read through the documentation on AIG about the incredible number of intra-corporate guarantees and loans among the various, particularly among the various insurance subsidiaries and the parent and the various insurance subsidiaries among themselves. And I see that as once the parent got into trouble, as everyone likes to point out, AIGFP was just one tiny little part of AIG. And it at least threatened the entire rest of the company in part, because of this incredible interconnection. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00195 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 190 So I’d like to know about how you’re managing that going forward. Is this a company that will still be run as one that has lots of cross guarantees and intra-company loans and inter-subsidiary loans? Mr. BENMOSCHE. The answer is no. I think that it was created out of a lot of complexity over a lot of time. We’re a company that has over 500 general ledgers in it today. The degree of complexity to run the business every day is huge. Which is why the people are so important to this company. And so I will tell you that they are working daily looking at ways to deliver, to change, and move. So part of what you’ll see is us going to the Treasury saying, we need capital to put into the insurance company. You just don’t take something out of an insurance company without the approval of the regulator. Whether it’s in Malaysia, or whether it’s in Korea, or whether it’s in Tennessee. All of those, as well as New York and Pennsylvania, and so and so. You’ve got to make sure, as we do this, we do it in an appropriate way such that the regulators are satisfied. But at the end of the day, we want very clear discreet businesses that we can see what they are, where we can see their financials. And therefore, we can go to the capital markets for that insurance company. And for example, deal with raising debts through bonds and so on which is what makes them even stronger from a ratings agency point of view. Because they have access to the markets and so we’ve got to have them understood, clean and plain. It’s not easy to do. It’s taking us time to get there. Which is why you can’t accelerate some of the sales. Because it’s too intertwined, too complex. Chair WARREN. So would it be fair then to say that you’re striving for a simpler, a more transparent business than you had in the past? Mr. BENMOSCHE. We will achieve a simpler organization. Chair WARREN. I like that. Mr. BENMOSCHE. Not striving for. We will do that because you have to do that to have your exit from the government. You’re going to have to be able to do that to get the rating agencies to give us very good ratings for our insurance companies. Chair WARREN. And would you be able to demonstrate some progress along that line, say from a year ago? Mr. BENMOSCHE. [No response.] Chair WARREN. You don’t have to do it off the top of your head. Mr. BENMOSCHE. No, I think that the whole—— Chair WARREN. We can hold the record open for this. Mr. BENMOSCHE [continuing]. The whole rating agency, or feedback from S&P in particular, basically talks about the kind of progress we’re making. And I think that at the end of the day when we have rating upgrades in our insurance companies will be the sign that we’ve achieved. Chair WARREN. But you would forgive us if we weren’t entirely reliant on rating agencies at this moment. Mr. BENMOSCHE. I won’t comment on that. Chair WARREN. Thank you. Mr. BENMOSCHE. You’re welcome. Chair WARREN. But it would be helpful, I just want to stress this point because I think it’s very important, about if you could give VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00196 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 191 us, as a supplement to your testimony, some examples of the work that has already been done to make this a more transparent company, let us describe it as one with a simpler chart of how it works. Mr. BENMOSCHE. I’m happy to have the team put together things we’ve done in Chartis and SunAmerica and things we’re starting to do to begin to pull things apart so we don’t have to deal with all of the cross-guarantees and cross-collateralization agreements. Chair WARREN. Thank you. Mr. McWatters. Mr. MCWATTERS. Thank you. I’ll follow-up on Professor Warren’s comment and I’ll put it this way. It still seems to me that AIG is too big to fail. That if, for whatever reason, you ran out of cash, you had a liquidity crunch again, chances are the taxpayers would have to come to your rescue. Okay, let’s just stipulate that for a second. What has your firm done to negate that status? How are you drawing back from this too big to fail situation where a year from now, two, three years from now, we’re not going to have to worry about AIG being too big to fail? If you fail, than you can just be liquidated, sold off, broken up, or whatever. In other words, do you have a living will? Do you have a plan? Are you developing a plan? Mr. BENMOSCHE. I think that to say that we’re too big to fail comes from the fact that we have a lot of assets and all the different insurance companies are added up. My personal belief that the reason you might think we’re too big to fail is we owe you a lot of money. And therefore, we can’t fail until we pay you back. Mr. MCWATTERS. That would be nice, yes. Mr. BENMOSCHE. Well I think that’s the issue. The issue is we’re not too big to fail, but we are right now because you got to make sure that we do this in a way that clearly pays back the taxpayer 100 cents on the dollar with an appropriate profit. And I think to the extent we do that, the remaining company, other than by what Congress decides is too big to fail in terms of assets size or whatever, I don’t believe that AIG, once we pay back the government and we exit as an investment grade company, I believe that we are no longer too big to fail. Mr. MCWATTERS. So there will be no ‘‘Financial Products II’’ or ‘‘Son of Financial Products’’? I mean you’re out of that business? Mr. BENMOSCHE. I can only tell you what I will do. I hope that somehow we find the appropriate regulations that say in the future that any company that decides to get in businesses and put at risk some of the businesses that we had in insurance or banking is prevented. I can’t tell whether my successor will come in and find a clever way to go back into the FP business. But I will tell you, while I’m here I want to make sure that that is not part of this company because that’s not what we should be doing. Mr. MCWATTERS. Well specifically, have you adopted risk management and internal control provisions that will just simply prevent, prohibits FP from coming back? Mr. BENMOSCHE. You cannot create policies that will prevent people from making bad management decisions. At the end of the day, the CEO has to take responsibility for the activities in their VerDate Mar 15 2010 01:41 Feb 08, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00197 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 192 company. And when they blow up, they have to take responsibility for why they let that happen. At the end of the day, I am very confident we have all of the processes in place in risk management. But at the end of the day, if I don’t listen to it and I don’t lead this company the right way, I can get the company in trouble. And the Board of Directors will do their best to oversee me. They will make sure they have the checks and balances. But at the end of the day, if we don’t listen to what we hear, we can get in trouble. And I believe our Board at AIG today is very strong. It would not let that happen. I will not let that happen. And over time, we hope new Board Members and new CEOs will also make sure that doesn’t happen. Mr. MCWATTERS. So is it fair to say you’re developing a culture that is anti-FP? Mr. BENMOSCHE. We’re developing a culture that is anti-taking inordinate risks. That would jeopardize the quality of our businesses when the businesses we are in make guarantees to people, sometimes for their lifetime. Mr. MCWATTERS. Are you in doing that, making any effort to separate risk from reward? So if you have an employee who comes up with a brilliant idea like someone did at FP a few years ago on credit default swaps, where they are paid a huge bonus, let’s say in year one, for doing the deal. If the deal blows up four years later, I mean is that still possible? Mr. BENMOSCHE. It wasn’t possible before either. I think I need to clear up something. When you look at AIG and the people at AIG, the 10 people that reported to me when I got there, those 10 people lost $168 million dollars of their prior pay because of what happened at FP. They lost $168 million. Five senior people at FP, leadership at FP, those five people lost $88 million dollars of their prior pay. Their pay has always been at risk for almost a five-year period of time through stock and cash plans. So you’ve got to have something other than pay. You got to reward pay, you have to have risk in the pay process. You have to have controls over when it gets paid out. But at the end of the day, the real challenge is to make sure you have good risk management and a good management of the company, and not rely on the compensation system. Either way, we’ve got to run the company the right way. So I can tell you that at FP, that was never the case, of getting rewarded in one year. Mr. MCWATTERS. Never the case? Mr. BENMOSCHE. Never the case. Mr. MCWATTERS. As I suspect right now, and from what I’ve read, at least in the popular press, at 2:45 in the afternoon there’s some guys on the 14th hole right now teeing off. And it’s because they made a lot of money at FP and then left. But they left the damage behind, which is the key. Mr. BENMOSCHE. There are people who worked there, and I will tell you in the last five years, most of their compensation was wiped out. In fact, even the bonuses that I got approved for people—— Mr. MCWATTERS. Right. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00198 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 193 Mr. BENMOSCHE [continuing]. 40 percent of that bonus goes into a deferred compensation plan at FP, which is so negative they will never see the light of day. And so people today are still losing pay for what happened in the past. Unfortunately, there are people who caused the problem that aren’t there which is what—— Mr. MCWATTERS. That’s my point. Mr. BENMOSCHE. And my point is, it’s a shame that we picked on the people who are there trying to get the job done. So I can only tell you that they still, the people who left, even the person who ran it, lost almost $70 million of his prior pay. But he got a lot of money from prior years, no question about that. Mr. MCWATTERS. Exactly. Mr. BENMOSCHE. But at the end of the day my concern is, from what you said is, it’s not about their pay. It’s about the fact we should have strong risk management and we should have a company that doesn’t over leverage itself and too cheaply allows parts of the company to leverage a Triple A of a solid insurance company. That was the mistake, not the pay. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay, thank you. Chair WARREN. Mr. Silvers. Mr. SILVERS. I’d like to come back to this pay question and look at it a different way. Last fall, the Federal Reserve system promulgated a sort of set of principles around pay for entities they regulate. And indicated that they would, that the Fed was going to be looking at pay at financial institutions that they regulated. Basically, looking at two issues, risk and time horizons. What processes do you have in place, as an entity that has this sort of unique relationship with the Federal Reserve system, what processes do you have in place and what, if anything, is the Fed doing to oversee them in relation to those policies? Mr. BENMOSCHE. I believe that the Fed is overseeing not only our compensation policies, but I will tell you first and foremost, that they’re in every aspect of our business, and rightfully so, because we owe them a lot of money. I will also tell you that I believe the working relationship—I’m going to make a comment. Our working relationship with them is extremely professional and very effective. They’ve been terrific partners. So they watch everything we’re doing and everything we’re working through. Mr. SILVERS. So tell me exactly what does that mean in relationship to compensation policy? What are they asking you—how is that oversight manifest? Mr. BENMOSCHE. Well, first of all, we can start with Ken Feinberg. And so Ken Feinberg deals with the way we’re paying the top 100 people. Mr. SILVERS. Yes, but I’m asking you about the Fed, and the Fed’s relation—and the Fed’s implementation of their policy. Mr. BENMOSCHE. They are aware of our compensation plans. We share with them all the long-term incentive plans, what our goals are. We talk about the vesting, we talk about claw back, we talk about how we’re doing it. All of our plans are presented to them and they’re aware of the things we’re doing. Mr. SILVERS. Okay. Now to pick up on my colleague’s question about sort of downside exposure. You described that some individ- VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00199 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 194 uals made money in AIG during the boom period and then lost it during the bust. I don’t doubt that that’s true. If you look at it though from the beginning of the process, the moment when people make decisions as executives about taking risk. All that money all right, all the gain is the upside. You don’t seem to have described any kind of actual downside that anybody took. So my question is, going forward, how do you build real downside around risk, around risk for your senior employees? And how do you avoid this asymmetry where it’s all about how much you gain and the comp plan can’t really embody the notion of the loss that investors in your company or ultimately the public, it appears, will bear? Mr. BENMOSCHE. I think it’s a question of how you design your goals and you design things. So for example, if you have part of the company where they are incentivized to create operating earnings—— Mr. SILVERS. Okay. Mr. BENMOSCHE [continuing]. And that’s all they’re asked to do, then they will do that. Mr. SILVERS. Right. Mr. BENMOSCHE. They may also make that part of the business insolvent. They also may not choose to clean out the inventory of some antiquated product and therefore, they’re not taking losses that you should take. So you have to design your compensation program that takes risk into account, sets parameters of what those risks are, and you have to manage it. You cannot let the compensation program drive results. And that’s why, for example, in the securities industry, I have always been against just revenue compensation plans. Because I think they don’t talk about risk, they don’t talk about bottom line. Mr. SILVERS. How do you build downsides, how do you build true downside in from any perspective? Mr. BENMOSCHE. What would you like downside to be? Mr. SILVERS. Well I mean, look, from an investor perspective downside is downside. I put up money and if I don’t—and if I lose, I lose, right? If you think about it graphically, I have real downside exposure and real upside exposure. Most executive pay plans I am familiar with, that purport to be performance based or to tie compensation to performance have only the upside of that line, they don’t have the downside. And that creates situations like that which my colleague Mr. McWatters was referring to. Where executives are not really fully exposed to the risks that investors are exposed to and the public is exposed to. Mr. BENMOSCHE. Well—— Mr. SILVERS. I’m just curious if you’ve got a solution to this problem given—— Mr. BENMOSCHE. YES. Mr. SILVERS [continuing]. Given the stakes involved for AIG and for the country. Mr. BENMOSCHE. I think when you have stock ownership, you want to have downside. If you look at what happened to the associates of AIG. People have been there their whole careers have been VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00200 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 195 totally wiped out through no fault of their own. Keep in mind there were 44,000 trades at FP, 44,000. Less than 125 went bad. Almost all the people at FP, all the people, 100,000 employees of AIG all suffered huge losses in various forms because of what happened here. Because a lot of them owned AIG stock either in their 401k or in their bonus plans or stock plans. So I will tell you that there was huge losses taken by people who owned the company. And that’s about the only way you’re going to be able to do it. The downside is, you own the company and if you screw it up you’re going to lose money. Mr. SILVERS. I don’t think—my time is up, but I don’t think that’s exactly what happened. People lost some of the money they made. It’s not the same thing as the perspective of investors or the public who are at risk of losing money they brought to the table. It’s quite different. Thank you. Chair WARREN. Professor Troske. Dr. TROSKE. One of the advantages of going last is I get to free ride on my colleagues and they get to ask all the questions. And so I don’t have very many left. But I guess I do have one. And that would be, does AIGFP still pose a threat to the success of the overall company? Mr. BENMOSCHE. I believe the AIGFP threat at the end of, at the beginning of 2009, was probably a $20 billion to $22 billion cash call. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Mr. BENMOSCHE. That has been reduced to almost $4 billion. So there’s still a risk. I think the greatest risk is downgrade. That’s why operating results are important and as long as we continue to do that I think that will be further de-risked as we go through the year. So I think that it’s manageable and will continue to be manageable until we get through the end of the year and then the rest of it gets absorbed into the rest of the company as just investments that have to wait until the duration gets there. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Thank you. Chair WARREN. Thank you very much Mr. Benmosche. Mr. BENMOSCHE. Thank you. Chair WARREN. We appreciate your coming and we will hold the record open for the additional information. Mr. BENMOSCHE. Okay, thank you very much. Chair WARREN. Okay, thank you. Mr. Millstein. We now call our fifth and for the day, final panel, Jim Millstein, Chief Restructuring Officer of the U.S. Department of Treasury. Have you found a comfortable place? I think you found a low chair sir. That or you’re shorter than I recall. Mr. MILLSTEIN. It might be that. Chair WARREN. There we go, much better. When you’re ready if you could give us an opening statement and hold it five minutes please. Mr. MILLSTEIN. I will. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00201 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 196 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING STATEMENT OF JIM MILLSTEIN, CHIEF RESTRUCTURING OFFICER, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Mr. MILLSTEIN. Chair Warren, members of the panel, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. Since joining the Treasury Department in May of 2006, I have been—2009, sorry. I have been— it feels like four years. I have been primarily responsible for overseeing the taxpayers’ significant investment in American International Group. As you know, prior to joining the Treasury Department I spent 28 years working in the private sector focused exclusively on financial restructurings. I will use my time today briefly to outline our current investments and commitments to AIG, the company’s restructuring plan, and the Government’s exit strategy. As of today, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Treasury Department have extended $132 billion of financial support to AIG. The New York Fed has provided $83 billion of this support, $26 billion of which represents loans outstanding to the parent company. $25 billion of which represents the preferred interest in AIG’s two largest international life insurance subsidiaries, AIA and ALICO, and $31 billion of which represent loans to two special purpose vehicles formed to acquire troubled assets from AIG in November of 2008. The Treasury has provided $49 billion in the form of Series E and F Preferred stock. In addition, the AIG Credit Facility Trust established for the benefit of the taxpayers in connection with the original funding of the New York Federal Reserve Credit Facility, holds AIG’s Series C Preferred stock which represents approximately 80 percent of AIG’s outstanding common stock on a fully diluted basis. This substantial financial commitment has enabled AIG to remain a going concern with an investment grade rating. However, without government support, because of its leverage and the risks associated with its financial products business, it would not have an investment grade rating, a rating that is critical to the competitiveness of its insurance subsidiaries. Therefore, the objective of the company’s restructuring plan is to restructure its balance sheet and business profile so that it can sustain an investment grade rating on its own. Thereby, permitting the government to exit its support and to monetize its investments. The restructuring plan has six essential components. First, the company will have to substantially reduce its debt through asset sales and divestitures. Next, the Company will have to demonstrate independent access to the capital markets and secure standby lines of credit. Third, the wind down of AIGFP will have to be substantially completed. Fourth, AIG will need to divest any businesses whose potential cash needs or credit rating represent a potential drag on the parent company rating. Fifth, the company will have to demonstrate that its core insurance subsidiaries are profitable, well capitalized, and have repaired the damage to their franchises that the uncertainty associated with rescue has generated. Finally, the company will have to dem- VerDate Mar 15 2010 01:41 Feb 08, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00202 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 197 onstrate that it has improved its risk management procedures and practices. Today as you’ve heard, AIG has made significant progress on each critical front. The pending AIA and ALICO divestitures will result in a substantial deleveraging of AIG’s balance sheet and will facilitate its access to third party capital. AIG’s leasing and finance businesses have accessed the long term debt markets again, allowing them to refinance their maturing debt and meet their own liquidity needs without recourse to the parent. The wind down of FP has made significant progress and is targeted to be completed substantially by year end. Financial results have stabilized and begun to improve at Chartis and SunAmerica Financial, the core businesses of AIG’s future. And finally, its risk management practices have improved. At the conclusion of this process, once it can sustain an investment grade rating without government support the government will exit as promptly as practicable. Whether we get all of our money back remains an open question. Let me briefly review where we stand today. If the AIA and ALICO divestitures close as planned, proceeds of those sales and the sale of other non-core assets should be sufficient to repay the New York Fed facility and redeem the preferred interest it holds in AIA and ALICO in full with all interest and dividends. Cash flows from the assets in Maiden Lane 2 and 3 and recent valuations of those assets suggest that the New York Fed loans to Maiden Lane II and III will also be paid in full with interest. And that the equity they own in each of those facilities is likely to have a real value. As a result, it seems very likely that the $83 billion dollars of outstanding Fed support will be paid in full. Similarly, at current market prices, the common stock that the Series C represents has value. Market conditions may change before the trustees have the opportunity to sell that stock, and the very selling of that stock, given how much they have, will put significant downward selling pressure on the price of AIG’s common stock. But the stock market today suggests there’s real value there. Finally, that leaves the Treasuries Series E and F Preferred, the $49 billion. The timing of our ability to monetize those investment in AIG will depend on the pace at which the other steps of the restructuring plan are accomplished. Whether Treasury ultimately recovers all of its investment or makes a profit, will in large part depend on the company’s operating performance and market multiples for insurance companies at the time the government sells its interests. Chair WARREN. Mr. Millstein, we’re at five minutes. Mr. MILLSTEIN. I’m done. Chair WARREN. Do you want to just give me another sentence? Mr. MILLSTEIN. One more sentence. Chair WARREN. You got it. Mr. MILLSTEIN. But as soon as we are confident that AIG can stand alone, we will move to exit these investments as promptly as practicable. Now I’m ready for your questions. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00203 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 198 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING Chair WARREN. There we go. I like that, ‘‘promptly as practicable.’’ [The prepared statement from Mr. Millstein follows.] VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00204 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00205 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 336 here 63515.107 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 199 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00206 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 337 here 63515.108 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 200 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00207 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 338 here 63515.109 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 201 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00208 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 339 here 63515.110 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 202 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00209 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 340 here 63515.111 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 203 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00210 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 341 here 63515.112 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 204 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00211 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 342 here 63515.113 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 205 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00212 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 343 here 63515.114 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 206 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00213 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 344 here 63515.115 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 207 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00214 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 345 here 63515.116 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 208 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00215 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 346 here 63515.117 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 209 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00216 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 347 here 63515.118 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 210 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00217 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 348 here 63515.119 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 211 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00218 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert offset folio 349 here 63515.120 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 212 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 213 Chair WARREN. So let me just get started here, I want to walk through this. I’m hearing you say that it is very likely that the American taxpayer will be repaid in full from AIG? Mr. MILLSTEIN. I think—— Chair WARREN. Is that what I heard you say? Mr. MILLSTEIN. What I said is that the New York Fed, which has about $83 billion dollars outstanding today, is very likely to be paid in full. The asset values that we’ve seen in both Maiden Lane II and III, and the sales prices for AIA and ALICO, should be sufficient to pay them in full. The Series—— Chair WARREN. That’s not everyone though. Mr. MILLSTEIN. No, that’s not everyone. The Treasury Department has $49 billion dollars outstanding in Series E and F Preferred. And as I said in my testimony, the recovery on that will depend on the performance of the remaining businesses and how those businesses are valued in the market at the time. Chair WARREN. So do you have any estimate at this point? You’ve heard the estimates—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. I have. Chair WARREN [continuing]. We’ve referred to them multiple times—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. I have. Chair WARREN [continuing]. From CBO. Mr. MILLSTEIN. I have. I think that there are, you know, substantial—there’s a lot of things that have to occur before we’ll know the answer to that question. And I think if—as you heard from the KPW analyst today, if the common stock has a value of $5.00, the preferred is paid in full. While that may be a lower stock price than the company is trading at today, that implies that the preferred is money good. Chair WARREN. Okay. Mr. MILLSTEIN. And even at that $5.00 stock price, the Series C Preferred held by the Series C Trust would have a value of $3 billion dollars. That’s pure profit to the taxpayers. Chair WARREN. But—since I see you wince and hesitate on the second number, that is you feel confident about the $83 billion repayment, a little less confident about the $49 billion. Do you feel that Mr. Benmosche perhaps is a bit optimistic? Mr. MILLSTEIN. No, in fact he knows his business better than I do. And if he can, in fact, drive—— Chair WARREN. You are principally responsible for overseeing him though—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. Yes, I am. Chair WARREN. So I take it only a little bit better. Mr. MILLSTEIN. Well no, he’s a you know, an experienced insurance executive. I’m a financial restructuring professional. He knows his businesses better than I do. And his confidence that he can get Chartis and SunAmerica Financial to an $8 billion dollar net after tax earning. If he can do that, we’re going to be paid in full. Chair WARREN. All right, so what do you see as the biggest risk here that we won’t get repaid? I know you’ve laid out some of the things that have to happen. But where do you see the biggest risk? VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00219 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 214 Mr. MILLSTEIN. I think the biggest risk—— Chair WARREN. You assess risks. Mr. MILLSTEIN. The biggest risk for an insurance company are the state of the financial markets and the impact it has on their franchise values. Remember, an insurance company you know, writes long dated risk and it takes the premiums and invests in a variety of financial assets. The markets go up, the assets perform. The markets go down, the assets are impaired, and so they vary. The fortunes of this company, like every other insurance company, in part ride on the performance of the financial markets. We’re obviously in very volatile times still. And so to me, that is the greatest risk. Chair WARREN. All right. So the American taxpayer is on this ride along with the up and down of the stock market? Mr. MILLSTEIN. Yeah, I think—— Chair WARREN. Or the down of the stock market. Mr. MILLSTEIN. There’s no question we’ve made a substantial investment in the largest insurance company in the world. And we did that for, in my view, good and valid reasons to prevent a further catastrophe in the financial markets. I think it’s been very successful. We have stabilized AIG. And the returns on that investment and on that policy approach will depend on the future performance of the company, which in part, depends on the performance of the financial markets. Chair WARREN. Actually, let me ask you about that performance since we’re hearing a lot of good news here. The preferred stocks held by Treasury are not paying or accumulating dividends. And that means that we have, we the American taxpayers, have given up about $5 billion dollars in foregone cash? Mr. MILLSTEIN. Actually—— Chair WARREN. Why has Treasury chosen this course of action? Mr. MILLSTEIN. The math is a little more complicated than that. Remember, we own 80 percent of the common stock. So we really, the giving up of dividends on the preferred, was really just giving up 20 percent of them because the value of those, the value of that dividend would otherwise flow to the common stock if it doesn’t go to the preferred. And we own 80 percent of the common stock. Chair WARREN. Now wait, wait, wait though. But those pockets don’t match. So you’re saying that we gave away $1 billion of the $5 billion to the other—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. We haven’t given it away. Chair WARREN [continuing]. AIG shareholders—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. We haven’t given it away. Chair WARREN [continuing]. By not collecting the dividends that belong to the taxpayer? Mr. MILLSTEIN. Chair Warren, with all due respect, we haven’t given away anything. These are dividends the company could not afford to pay. And in its current—— Chair WARREN. Well I’m hearing so much optimistic news I—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. I know, but—— Chair WARREN. So they can’t afford to pay their dividends. Mr. MILLSTEIN. I understand. Chair WARREN. And that’s cost us $5 billion. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00220 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 215 Mr. MILLSTEIN. It hasn’t cost us anything. These are dividends they could not afford to pay. Chair WARREN. All right. And you’re saying but that’s all right because we’re still going to sit in the common shareholder position—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. Had they been able to pay the dividend, they would first have to bring the preferred dividends current before they could pay a dividend to the common stock, and that’s where we are today. But at this point, at this point, the company’s cash flows, its net income after taxes are insufficient to support a preferred dividend. Chair WARREN. Okay, so where do you anticipate between this optimistic view of AIG repaying the American taxpayer in full, and the position where we are today, which is they can’t pay the dividends owed. Where are we going to cross that line where we don’t continue—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. Okay. Chair WARREN [continuing]. To lose money from a company that can’t pay us dividends that it owes us. Mr. MILLSTEIN. I laid out the six steps of the restructure plan. Chair WARREN. I heard those. Mr. MILLSTEIN. Okay, so if you just bear with me for a minute. What is going on is a resolution of a large financial company. And that resolution involves its downsizing, okay? We’re selling stuff to pay back debt. We’re selling AIA and ALICO. We’ve got a sale transaction for the life insurance operations in Taiwan. We’ve sold buildings and real estate around the world. All of—— Chair WARREN. I understand all this. Mr. MILLSTEIN. Wait, wait. Chair WARREN. I’ve read the Treasury. Mr. MILLSTEIN. Bear with me. Chair WARREN. I’ve read your report. Mr. MILLSTEIN. Bear with me. It takes time to take a company of this size and scope to get it down to a footprint where it’s actually reduced its debt, reduced its leverage, reduced its risk—— Chair WARREN. I understand that. That’s why I—— Mr. MILLSTEIN [continuing]. And can pay a dividend. Chair WARREN [continuing]. Asked a time question. Mr. MILLSTEIN. What was your—what time question? Chair WARREN. And the time question was, I hear this enormous optimism which suggests that you have some kind of plan in mind and that AIG has a plan in mind for where it will end up. And what I see today, is that it is not able to pay the dividends owed on the preferred shares. So what I’m asking is, when in this downsizing do we expect those two to cross over so that it can at least meet its obligations—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. Okay. Chair WARREN [continuing]. Before the happy day comes that it pays us back in full? Mr. MILLSTEIN. If the AIA and ALICO deals close, they’ll likely close sometime in the third and fourth quarter of this year, okay? VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00221 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 216 So that’s—that will result in an immediate pay down of the Federal Reserve facility—sorry, of the preferred interest at the—at AIA and ALICO, that’s about $25 billion that will be immediately retired with the cash proceeds. And the balance of the consideration can be sold, given the terms of the lock ups we’ve negotiated with MetLife and Prudential over the course of a year to a year-and-a-half. When those proceeds are realized, they should be sufficient to pay off the credit facility at the parent level in full. So sometime, I would expect, in 2011, if those deals close, the Federal Reserve will be paid in full for all of its existing exposure to AIG. Chair WARREN. Okay. Mr. McWatters. Mr. MCWATTERS. Thank you. Mr. Millstein, when the deal was struck in September, current shareholders of AIG stayed in place. It was not a bankruptcy, they weren’t wiped out. So today we have sort of an odd situation of pre-bailout shareholders that may live to collect dividends someday, may live to sell their stock for a profit even though the tax payers may lose, CBO $36 billion dollars, OMB $50 billion dollars, is that correct? Mr. MILLSTEIN. Well let me just—if in fact, the preferred stock interests lose money. It’s unlikely the common are going to get anything, right? In the way a balance sheet is constructed, the preferred stockholders are going to get paid first before the common stockholders get anything. Now we have, it is true that the stock is trading. The common stock is trading and 20 percent of it was left outstanding. People are buying in and selling that every day. No dividends are being paid on that stock. So it’s a bet on the company’s future. Mr. MCWATTERS. But given that it’s trading for $33.00 a share today, there must be a lot of people, a lot of smart people, a lot of analysts who think the preferred stock will be repaid. Mr. MILLSTEIN. That would be the inference you would draw, yes. Mr. MCWATTERS. Yeah. Mr. MILLSTEIN. So that’s good news for the taxpayers. The common stock, the common—the people who are trading the common stock are suggesting the preferred stock is money good. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay, but the equity, the pre-bailout equity was not wiped out in this deal? Mr. MILLSTEIN. It was substantially diluted. Mr. MCWATTERS. Substantially diluted, but not wiped out. Mr. MILLSTEIN. If I may though, again, just to take the market price of the common stock. The 80 percent of the stock that was represented by the Series C, if you valued that at the $33.00 a share, at which the common stock market is trading the outstanding float, that’s an $18 billion dollar profit to the taxpayer for the privilege of having made all creditors whole, and for having put a wall up around this company to keep it from failing. You know, if that’s how it plays out, I think all of you would agree that this was a very successful rescue. Mr. MCWATTERS. It was only successful because the taxpayers got lucky. If we go back to September 16, 2008, and we start look- VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00222 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 217 ing at the CDOs, we start looking at the RMBS, that was junk, nobody wanted it. Because there was not a market. We had no idea what it was worth and it was simply purchased because it had to be purchased. The fact that it appreciated, that’s to our benefit, and that’s great. But that was far from assured or guaranteed at the time. Mr. MILLSTEIN. Listen, I was a private citizen at the time that this rescue occurred. So I had no greater involvement with it than you did. And I stood back at probably the same distance from it that you did. But I think if you listen to the testimony of my colleagues, my now colleagues at the Federal Reserve, what you hear them tell you is, that this wasn’t done to make a profit. It wasn’t done for the protection of Goldman Sachs, or JP Morgan, or any of the other counterparties. It was for the protection of the financial system of this country, to try to prevent a panic. A panic that had already started that would have been worsened and exacerbated had this company failed. And I believe that. Mr. MCWATTERS. I agree, but that’s the reason I said in my opening statement that if you, if the supposition is, we need to save AIG to save the world financial system, well the world financial system is Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan and some others. So if the world financial system had collapsed, these institutions would have collapsed. So it was certainly in their best interests to have AIG bailed out. And if they can be bailed out at 100 cents on the dollar, it’s a happy day. Mr. MILLSTEIN. Listen, I understand the ambivalence about—the view that AIG is a vehicle to pay other large financial institutions. But if you believe that its a collapse would have created fear and panic across all financial markets, and it wasn’t just Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan who were being helped by this rescue. It was you and I as depositors in our banks. It was the insurance policy holders across AIG and every other insurance company. It was the pensioners whose pension plans were racked by AIGFP. It was the holders of stable value funds, whose—— Mr. MCWATTERS. I agree. I totally agree with what you’re saying. But none of those folks you just mentioned got the wire transfer that Goldman Sachs and the others did. Mr. MILLSTEIN. In fact though, they did. In fact they did, because the 44,000 trades that Mr. Benmosche talked about include all those stable value insurance contracts that FP wrote that FP has honored. It includes the various transactions they did with pension funds to insure their assets too. We’ve singled out, because they happen to have held very, very volatile assets on AIG’s—that AIG had insured, and that the decline in the price of which were running through AIG’s income statement and creating enormous losses in the fourth quarter of 2008. So in order to try to mitigate the losses at AIG, and in order to try to stabilize its balance sheet, the Federal Reserve went after these two asset classes that were causing such losses and such instability. And tried to buy them in at those prices to terminate the losses going forward so as to try to keep this company from needing more money and it becoming even more unstable. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00223 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 218 ´ ´ ´ ´ ´ So yes, Goldman Sachs, and Societe Generale, and the other counterparties to those RMBS and to the CDOs, got paid, but it was part of a broader effort to stabilize this company so they could honor everybody’s contracts in full. They weren’t the only parties whose contracts were honored in full. Everybody since September of 2008, has had their contracts honored by AIG. Chair WARREN. Mr. McWatters. Mr. MCWATTERS. I understand. Chair WARREN. Are you okay? Mr. MCWATTERS. I’m done. Chair WARREN. Are you through? Mr. MCWATTERS. I’m done. Chair WARREN. Mr. Silvers. Mr. SILVERS. I wasn’t planning to ask this, but I now feel compelled to do so. I notice Mr. McWatters didn’t bring up Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan, so obviously it’s on Treasury’s mind. Is it not the case that in the week of September 15, 2008, that the cash calls that the company could not meet were in two lines of business and two lines of business only. And but for those cash calls, none of this would have been necessary? And those two lines of business were, and it depends on what— you know you can believe or not—you can argue I guess with the state insurance regulators, they certainly were the swaps business and they may have been the securities lending business. And but for those two enterprises, none of this would have occurred? Is that not so? Mr. MILLSTEIN. That is not so. So let me—— Mr. SILVERS. Are you seriously asserting that if you wipe those two pieces of business off the books, that AIG was nonetheless insolvent? Mr. MILLSTEIN. Let me—— Mr. SILVERS. And are you accusing the New York State Insurance Commissioner of lying to this panel? Mr. MILLSTEIN. Can I answer the question? I’m trying to be—— Mr. SILVERS. I’m just astounded at the lengths you will go to to defend something that may, in fact, be defensible in a perfectly straightforward way. Mr. MILLSTEIN. No, I actually have sat through the entire hearing today. Mr. SILVERS. I know. Mr. MILLSTEIN. I’ve heard—— Mr. SILVERS. I’m impressed. Mr. MILLSTEIN. And I’ve heard the testimony of all the expert witnesses and fact witnesses before you. And I’ve spent a year now with this company’s balance sheet and understanding its liability structure. And I want to give you the benefit of my learning. All of the contracts at AIGFP are guaranteed by the parent. The parent has a $100 billion dollar balance sheet of its own. On September 8th of 2008, with $15 billion dollars of commercial paper, we all know what happened to Lehman Brothers, to the commercial paper markets after Lehman Brothers filed and defaulted on $5 billion dollars of commercial paper. Fifteen billion dollars of commercial paper at the parent company. Eighty billion dollars of repo. Again, the repo markets went VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00224 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 219 into seizure after the Lehman Brothers filing. And a much smaller amount of repo. Two trillion dollars of notional derivatives, $400 billion of credit derivatives, concentrated very much in the real estate part of the market. Had AIGFP defaulted on the collateral posting requirements that it had on September 16, every counterparty, 44,000 trades could have terminated their trades, declared cross default—— Mr. SILVERS. You know Mr. Millstein, you’ve—you’re not paying attention to what I was asking you. Mr. MILLSTEIN. I’m sorry. Mr. SILVERS. And you’ve actually agreed with me. Mr. MILLSTEIN. Oh. Mr. SILVERS. What you’ve said is, is that—you said that all kinds of terrible things would have happened had they defaulted on the collateral posting obligations. But it was, but it’s the collateral posting obligations that were the triggering issue, right? Mr. MILLSTEIN. The collateral posting obligations were actually triggered by the downgrade. The downgrade—— Mr. SILVERS. Yes, I know that. But that’s where the cash need was that week. Mr. MILLSTEIN. I’m sorry. Mr. SILVERS. All the witnesses, all day long have said this. Mr. MILLSTEIN. And the—— Mr. SILVERS. You’re not disputing that. Mr. MILLSTEIN. And the securities lending part—— Mr. SILVERS. Right, exactly. Mr. MILLSTEIN. They refused to roll over—— Mr. SILVERS. Okay, so we all agree. Mr. MILLSTEIN. Okay. Mr. SILVERS. Let me move to the present. As my colleagues have expressed, there are these estimates from the government accounting bodies that $30 billion or $50 billion dollar losses is likely. It appears from your testimony, that what that really means is that they believe that the preferred Series E is worthless. Or in the better case scenario, the $30 billion dollar loss, they believe that it is worth 60, no 40 percent, of the face. Mr. MILLSTEIN. Right. Mr. SILVERS. Am I understanding their point of view correctly? I know it’s a little unfair to ask you what they think. But is that essentially what that means? Mr. MILLSTEIN. Yeah, I mean there’s $50 billion outstanding, if they think it’s only worth $30, there’s going to be a $20 billion dollar loss. Mr. SILVERS. And we’re not—explain to me why you think they are wrong, because clearly you do. Mr. MILLSTEIN. Well no, I don’t think any of us can predict the future. Mr. SILVERS. Okay. Mr. MILLSTEIN. I think that the Government Accountability Office and the OMB have to, under the regulations they’re subject to, they have to make estimates of this for purposes of budgetary accounting. Mr. SILVERS. Yes. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00225 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 220 Mr. MILLSTEIN. And I suspect they’re being conservative in their view. You know, I’m working to get the taxpayer’s money back. Mr. SILVERS. Right. Mr. MILLSTEIN. I think we have a—or the company—has a restructuring plan that they’ve worked on with us that is going to take time to implement. But it should—and we’ve spent a lot of time on it, if they can implement it—should leave them as an investment grade company and if it can perform, if the two core businesses can perform the way that Mr. Benmosche suggested they can, the NEF should do very well. Mr. SILVERS. My time is up. Thank you. Chair WARREN. Professor Troske. Dr. TROSKE. Maybe we’ll continue on a related line. And you were here for Mr. Gallant’s testimony as well and his estimate of what the stock price should be. And can you sort of respond to that a little. And apparently you disagree with him as well. I don’t know whether you’ve had a chance to look at his estimate. And there are widely different estimates out there. And I recognize that people are making—I understand how we come up with different estimates that we’re making different assumptions about the outcome. Mr. MILLSTEIN. Yeah I’ve seen his work and you know, an analyst report such as that is built on a number of assumptions. And—— Dr. TROSKE. Can you tell me which ones you would quibble with specifically? Mr. MILLSTEIN. In part I’m constrained not to quibble with any particular assumption because I actually know more than he does. I have much more material non-public information and it is a publicly traded stock and it would be inappropriate for me to do so. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Mr. MILLSTEIN. I mean I’m not—I’m not trying to—— Dr. TROSKE. No, I respect that. Can you give us some broad indication that you’re comfortable with where you think that there are differences that you might have. Mr. MILLSTEIN. From my point of view of representing the Series E and F, I take some comfort from his conclusion that the stock actually has positive value because it means the interests I’m trying to recover are going to be paid in full. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Mr. MILLSTEIN. And it also means that the Series C stock has real value. And that’s pure profit to the tax payers. Dr. TROSKE. So I guess you—I believe you answered Chair Warren’s question about when you thought the AIG will no longer need government support. Was that what your estimate was in 2011? Or I guess that’s where you said it was going to cross the line. Mr. MILLSTEIN. Yeah, I think the de-leveraging that is a predicate to its being able to garner a stand alone investment grade rating, is dependent upon these major asset sales closing and our monetizing the value of the stock that we’re taking back on those deals. And I see that occurring you know, sometime between year end this year and year end next year when we’ve fully monetized those interests. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00226 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 221 Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Mr. MILLSTEIN. And therefore, you know if its got its leverage profile, that is its debt down and its coverage to a point where it looks like an investment grade company. Then I think we can begin you know, assuming the other elements of the restructuring plan that I outlined. Which, as I said, independent access to capital, that the parent company starts tapping the credit and capital markets again independent of the government. You know I think that’s when we can start thinking about exiting the Series E and F. Dr. TROSKE. Mr. Gallant also said that he thought the share price, the current share price reflected the trader’s beliefs that the government was going to walk away leaving—you know, giving a gift, another gift to AIG. Mr. MILLSTEIN. I think you can be certain that that is not going to occur. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Let me change gears just a little. You are an expert in restructuring. If you’re—and you were not in the room at the time, as you made clear. Had you been, would you have done anything different? Mr. MILLSTEIN. Yeah, Mr. Bienenstock and I go a long way back together. We’ve been on opposite sides of the table, we’ve been on the same side of the table on numerous occasions. I think that his confidence in the ability to actually have a discount negotiation with 16 counterparties is misplaced. In part because I think he’s simplified some of the assumptions on which his analysis relies. During the period from September to November, when he assumes we had that three months in the Federal Reserve and the government to conduct a negotiation, collateral was required to be posted almost every other day. So the failure, while it—well he’s right, having put the $85 billion dollar loan in place, bankruptcy was remote, but default was not remote. Every day, those 16 counter-parties or every week those 16 counter-parties were making demands for collateral. So in order to have the dissident account negotiation, the company would have had to be prepared to say, I’m not paying. And to take the risk that anyone of those 16 counterparties or anyone who had cross-default rights, the other 44,000 claimants, or anyone at the parent who had cross-default rights, would not exercise their rights to cross-default. So while we could—you could have gathered the 16 major counterparties in a room and had a negotiation. I can tell you at the time, I was actually concluding a very—the very similar negotiation to that which was urged upon AIG, after nine months of negotiating with that very same group over the extent of their discounts and how it would be done in another entirely different situation. But most importantly for AIG, the company would have had to be prepared to take the risk of nonpayment, and have that nonpayment put at risk every other debt instrument that had a crossdefault at the parent level and at FP. And if I may, I know where you’re going. If I may, that would have made that company completely unstable. Any creditor with VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00227 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 222 the right to declare a cross-default could have brought the house of cards down. Chair WARREN. So if I can just follow-up on that. Is that—you were talking about you were negotiating the same thing. Were you negotiating something like that with a government back stop behind it? Where the government said, I will make sure that between us, we get you paid so long as you don’t cross-default and bring this company down? Mr. MILLSTEIN. No I—— Chair WARREN. Doesn’t that change the negotiating dynamic somewhat? A carrot the size of Manhattan—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. Yeah. Chair WARREN [continuing]. And a stick the size of—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. Right. Chair WARREN [continuing]. The global economy. Mr. MILLSTEIN. If—I mean I’m not sure I’m comfortable with, as a citizen, with the Federal Reserve using that power to pick and choose winners. Chair WARREN. I’m sorry, were you uncomfortable with Long Term Capital Management? Mr. MILLSTEIN. The government didn’t put any money up in that situation. Chair WARREN. The government had nothing to do with what happened in Long Term Capital Management? Mr. MILLSTEIN. No, no. I think you heard—— Chair WARREN. I think we heard, they were in the room—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. We were both—— Chair WARREN [continuing]. And said nobody leaves the room until there’s a deal done here. Mr. MILLSTEIN. I know it’s tempting to believe this, that the government could have made this possible and extracted discounts. But just assume with me for the moment that among the creditors who had cross-default rights with someone not within the territorial limits of the United States, who held a material claim and didn’t care about the government of the United States or its policies wanted just to perfect its rights to payment. Chair WARREN. And how exactly—you know this is—you weren’t there—I wasn’t there. This is a crazy conversation to have. But how exactly was that person going to enforce those rights? Either they had collateral, in which case they hang on to them or they’ve got to go to court. And I think you and I both have an idea of how long that takes. I just—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. I understand that. I understand that. But this is a huge balance sheet with numerous creditors on it. Chair WARREN. This is what bankruptcy lawyers do for a living. Mr. MILLSTEIN. I understand that. And I did this for a living. And I can tell you that I would have been very nervous—— Chair WARREN. Well who wouldn’t have been nervous? Mr. MILLSTEIN [continuing]. About creating—about threatening default or even defaulting on this without being prepared to put this company into bankruptcy. Because you would be putting holders of claims of $100 billion of debt and of $2 trillion of notional derivatives at the table on the first default. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00228 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 223 Chair WARREN. So let me see, this may be an unartful pivot. But from that very point I want to go to another one that you made. And that’s the question, it’s ironic that AIG is in the insurance business because the American taxpayer ended up in the insurance business here. They ended up insuring, in effect, that AIG’s creditors were going to get paid 100 cents on the dollar. And so I’m wondering, what was the value of that insurance? What’s the value of the guarantee that we won’t let your company fail? Mr. MILLSTEIN. Yeah. Chair WARREN. You described potentially here an $18 billion profit. Except it treats that insurance policy that came from the American taxpayers as worth nothing. Mr. MILLSTEIN. No, I think we’re coming at this from two different frames of reference. And I think again, just having spent time with the Federal Reserve and understanding what they thought they were doing at the time, in 2008. And I don’t think they thought they were underwriting creditor recoveries at AIG. They thought they were preventing a meltdown of the financial system. And a consequence of that was that everybody at AIG had to get paid. Because just imagine that the government had tried to extract concessions from major counterparties, other systemically significant firms who did business with AIG. What would the risk have been then? What would be the inference that other creditors of those institutions would draw—— Chair WARREN. I’m sorry Mr. Millstein, we’ve been around this before. But the question I started with is, what is the value of the guarantee that the American taxpayer put into this? You describe the profit here as $18 billion. Mr. MILLSTEIN. No, I think—— Chair WARREN. Potentially $18 billion. And I just want to put it against—you treat the guarantee from the American taxpayers as if it costs nothing. Mr. MILLSTEIN. No, I think the benefit to the American taxpayers is that the financial crisis we all have lived through, which has been—had horrible effects on the economy wasn’t worse. And if it turns out that the cost of this operation with AIG is— that there is some cost to it in the billions of dollars, I hope it won’t be, that was money well spent in the sense of avoiding what could have been a much, much worse crisis. Chair WARREN. I just have one small question to finish with this. And that is, you can’t tell us why Mr. Gallant is wrong. And I understand the reason for that. Others agree with Mr. Gallant, others obviously don’t. The market is trading somewhere else. But I’d just like your advice for what you would offer to an oversight panel. Are we just supposed to take your word for it? That it’s all going to work out fine? How do we evaluate these very differing points of view if you can’t give us anything more specific? Mr. MILLSTEIN. The question I think you need to ask yourself today is, as a result of the government’s actions is the company today stable? The answer is yes. Is it improving? Yes. Is it executing against the restructuring plan? Yes. Is it moving to a posi- VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00229 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 224 tion where it can give up on its government support and stand alone? Yes. Are there risks? Certainly. A company of this size and scope can’t help but have risks to its outcomes and financial performance. But in terms of you know, where it was and where it’s going, it’s making progress. That’s all that can be told. Chair WARREN. So when people ask us whether or not the American taxpayer’s going to get repaid, the answer is, we don’t know and we don’t have anything to look at. Mr. MILLSTEIN. No I think I did answer it. I think you can say with confidence, as an oversight panel, that the Federal Reserve is going to be paid in full. You can say that the—— Chair WARREN. But—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. Wait. You can say that—it was a comma, not a period. You can say that an analyst, a well respected analyst, came in to your hearing and said that the—basically the E and F is going to be paid in full and that the government Series C is worth something. Chair WARREN. But there will be losses—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. No. Chair WARREN [continuing]. According to the—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. No, that’s not what this gentleman is telling you. Chair WARREN. You think he thinks we’re going to get paid in full. Mr. MILLSTEIN. If he’s—— Chair WARREN. And that the CBO—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. If the stock is—— Chair WARREN [continuing]. Estimate is simply wrong. Mr. MILLSTEIN. If he believes the stock has a positive value of $5.00, that means that what I’m trying to recover is going to get recovered. Chair WARREN. Because we’re going to be paid in full. Okay, thank you Mr. Millstein. Mr. Silvers. Mr. SILVERS. What—— Chair WARREN. No, Mark isn’t finished. Oh, I’m sorry, Mr. McWatters. Mr. MCWATTERS. So this means that AIG is solvent, in your opinion? In the opinion of the Department of the Treasury? Mr. MILLSTEIN. It’s a—you know solvent’s a legal term. It has a positive net worth and it’s paying its debts as they come due. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay, fair enough. AIG to me appears like it is still too big to fail. What are you doing, as the majority shareholder to lessen that risk? Mr. MILLSTEIN. I think if the restructuring plan that we have worked with the company on designing and implementing is a plan that is downsizing this company relatively rapidly. We’re selling off its international life insurance operations. FP has—is not a shadow of its former self, but it’s about a third of its former self. And those risks should be wound down substantially by the end of the year. The aircraft leasing business and consumer finance businesses are now financing themselves, not drawing on the government to finance them. And as you heard Mr. Benmosche say, the inter-com- VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00230 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 225 pany loan that last year was necessary to finance ILFC, he hopes to be able to raise money to refinance it this year. So the core business of AIG, at the end of this restructuring plan, will be Chartis and SunAmerica Financial, the largest property casualty company in the world and a very strong annuity and life insurance provider in the United States. A much smaller, much simpler—and a company that he’s confident he can manage with the help of his Board. And that is much smaller than the company that the Fed confronted on September of 2008. Mr. MCWATTERS. So let’s say a year from now, a year-and-a-half from now, after this had been implemented, if AIG was to fail again for whatever reason, then a filing under Chapter 11 followed by the insurance regulators doing whatever insurance regulators do. In other words, would working the resolution of AIG in its bankruptcy—and its insurance subsidiaries through the normal protocol seem to work? In other words, there’s nothing out there that would start triggering the dominoes that take down the other too big to fail institutions? Mr. MILLSTEIN. Yeah, I mean if that plan that I just outlined has been implemented and the environment stays as relatively friendly as it is today, I think that you know, it’s not up to me to make a systemic risk determination but it seems to me this will be much less of a risk to the system than it was in September of 2008. Mr. MCWATTERS. What are the consequences on the competitors of AIG’s insurance business who have received perhaps a subsidy, or at least AIG subsidiaries who have received a subsidy from the U.S. taxpayers. If you’re competing against AIG in the insurance business, what’s the consequence? Mr. MILLSTEIN. It’s a pretty competitive business. And in some sense, I think AIG’s burdened by its government ownership in the competition it has with other insurance companies. I think you know, we’re not a natural holder, we’re a reluctant owner, but we’re still a majority owner. And you know when the government of the United States rolls over you know, you might not like being underneath it. So I think the answer is, that I think the sooner they can shed us the more competitive they will be. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay, so there’s no indication to you that the rates or the underwriting standards of an AIG—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. You know there was some—— Mr. MCWATTERS [continuing]. Are considered different—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. There was some chat about—you heard some noise about that in the marketplace shortly after—you know in early 2009. You haven’t heard that since. Mr. MCWATTERS. Okay, I’m done. Chair WARREN. Mr. Silvers. Mr. SILVERS. Mr. Millstein, AIG is the only participant in the Treasury Department’s SSFI program, Systemically Significant Failing Institutions program. What are the—this may seem silly after this day’s worth of testimony, but it’s not. What are the characteristics of AIG that made it an SSFI? VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00231 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 226 Mr. MILLSTEIN. You know, for a company you’re going to take a majority ownership in and invest $132 billion to create a program called failing institution, you know, it’s—it’s a little contrary to the objective of getting your money back. I don’t know who named it that. I myself don’t tend to use it a lot as the program description. It’s the—you know, it’s the AIG program. Mr. SILVERS. But the fact that it was the only participant in that program, the only institution—you know, my colleagues have made a big—Mr. McWatters was talking about how the Treasury left 20 percent of the common stockholders intact. That was actually pretty tough treatment in relation to what happened later with other people. And Treasury at the time articulated to this panel—and I know this is a different administration, but, you know, there’s some continuity—articulated to this panel that AIG was different. Do you disagree? Do you think AIG wasn’t different? Mr. MILLSTEIN. I really—I can’t—I don’t know what was in their minds in that regard. You mean in terms of taking their common stock? Mr. SILVERS. Well, no, just in general. What made—what made AIG—why does AIG have a unique program all to itself? Mr. MILLSTEIN. I don’t know. I mean, you know, we have—we— the Federal Reserve was the lender of last resort here first. Mr. SILVERS. And this comes back to my question this morning about sort of what’s the—you know, when did things kind of get set in stone? You seem to be sort of saying that you guys—the Treasury—inherited a circumstance created by the Fed. Mr. MILLSTEIN. Well, I think the sequence—actually in my written testimony I lay this out. Mr. SILVERS. Yes. Mr. MILLSTEIN. And—and if, you know, in September—and again, this is sort of an advertisement for a regulatory reform resolution regime because in September of 2008 the government really didn’t have the tools to resolve an institution of this size. The Federal Reserve could make a loan. But you really didn’t have the tools to put it to bed quietly. Mr. SILVERS. Now, let me—I mean—you know, I think it’s critical—the fact that there’s not a—the fact that you can’t give a clear answer to this—to the question of—and I understand why. It’s not a criticism of you necessarily. But the fact that there’s not a clear answer that can be articulated across administrations to why it was that AIG got unique treatment is a problem, I think. And I just leave that as an observation. I wanted to shift to something you said earlier in response to one of my colleagues’ questions. You said that you had to think about the impact on other systemically significant firms during the period, you know, in September 2008. What firms are you talking about? Mr. MILLSTEIN. No, no, I was—I did say that, but I said it in the context of Chair Warren’s questioning with regard to, you know, we insured all of AIG’s creditors through this bailout. And again, what I was trying to convey there is that I don’t think that was a consequence of what we did. I don’t think that was the intent of policy. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00232 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 227 Policy intent was to draw a line and try to prevent a further collapse of the system. And they drew the line at AIG. And the next point I was going to try to make was that if, as some have urged, the government rather in November or some time else along the way, should have tried to extract concessions from AIG’s creditors, having intervened in AIG, what would that have communicated to the broad market about—about the government’s role with regard to other firms that—you know, the other 20 large financial institutions, which by then it had made investments in? Would it have promoted financial stability to think—for the markets to think that the government was going to turn around for all of the large financial institutions in which it then owned preferred stock and demand creditor concessions? Would that have encouraged financial intermediation or discouraged financial intermediation? Would it promote stability or promote instability? I submit that if that were official government policy that we were going to use our ownership stakes in these large institutions to demand concessions from their creditors, I think you would have had risk running away from those companies—the contagion associated with that government policy would have been enormous. Mr. SILVERS. No, I’m sorry. I think my—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. You would have discouraged people from doing business with our large financial institutions. Chair WARREN. But the point is about the debt that existed prior to the government putting its own money on the table. This is like post-petition financing. The haircut is for those who were dealing with the company so that you get some market discipline, so you keep some market discipline. And the government says we’re going to provide the backstop going forward. But we’re not paying off the old people who understood the risks they were taking, at least not paying them off 100 cents on the dollar. Mr. MILLSTEIN. But, Chair Warren, you know and I know the staff knows that these large financial institutions don’t have near long-term debt. Their debt is coming in and out everyday. So once you communicate to the financial markets that these large institutions are going to be—have required haircuts, the people who are lending money on a short-term basis to them withdraw their credit. Chair WARREN. No. Mr. MILLSTEIN. They withdraw their credit. Chair WARREN. Not from AIG. What you’re now talking about are all the other participants in the financial market. Mr. MILLSTEIN. No, AIG—that’s—— Chair WARREN. Once the government says I am putting money on the table and the money will be available to backstop the creditors, there’s been no indication the government has ever backed off from that. And indeed, we have heard repeatedly in every meeting we’ve had with the Fed that they could not back off. Mr. MILLSTEIN. No. Chair WARREN. That’s why the decisions made in September had to be followed through in November in the way that they did. VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00233 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 228 Mr. MILLSTEIN. But, if I may, what you have been urging or at least inquiring about is whether or not they should have done something different. Chair WARREN. Right. Yes. Mr. MILLSTEIN. And what I’m suggesting to you—— Chair WARREN. That—that is—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. Had they done that, their short-term creditors would have run on them before you could have asked them may I have a discount. Chair WARREN. I think we will simply have to agree to see the world differently on that. I apologize. Professor Troske. Dr. TROSKE. So as a professional economist, I don’t deal in individual companies. I sort of look broader at the economy. But I think when I hear the comments that my colleagues on the Panel are making, what I think about is the moral hazard problem going forward. The fact that when we make credit—when the government consistently makes creditors whole—creditors play an important regulatory role in a market economy in that they regulate the performance of the people that they’re lending money to. If the creditors don’t believe that that’s important because the government’s going to come in and bail them out, they no longer play that regulatory role. And obviously then we have to create a government structure to regulate, which is incredibly challenging. And it’s much cheaper for the taxpayers if creditors actually do the regulation for them. And I would argue much more efficient. Can you sort of—I mean, so you’ve talked about this instance. Can you maybe expand a little on the moral hazard that’s introduced by what we’ve done? Because I’m not sure I would agree with your statement that even if we get paid off and make a profit, we’re better off once you consider the dynamic implications. Mr. MILLSTEIN. I think if we fail to follow this episode in American economic history with strong regulatory reform, then we will have created—we will have compounded the problems that existed in early September of 2008 before AIG was bailed out. The system that allowed an AIG to run up $2 trillion of risk without really any capital behind it, that allowed it to lever itself up the way it had without any effective holding company regulator supervising it and demanding that it have both capital and liquidity to support the risks it was underwriting—that system, you could argue, created the moral hazard that certainly has been compounded by what occurred. So we need to have a regulatory reform package to counter what has occurred and to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Dr. TROSKE. You know, I think I would disagree with you. I think that if the government had consistently allowed creditors to fail in Long Term Capital Management, in—you know, back over the last 30 years, then we would have regulators. They would be called creditors. And this problem wouldn’t exist in the first place because the creditors to AIG would have taken a much more active role in ensuring the company didn’t get into the problems in the first place. And the solution you’re proposing is for the government to go out and hire creditors to do the job—— VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00234 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 229 Mr. MILLSTEIN. No, not at all. Dr. TROSKE. Excuse me—the government to go out and hire regulators to do the job that creditors should have been doing is going to produce a much more inferior solution to the one we would have if we actually allowed the market to function in an efficient fashion. Mr. MILLSTEIN. No, I actually agree with what you’ve said. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Mr. MILLSTEIN. But when firms of this size fail, they have spillover effects that are enormous. And so, when I say strong regulatory reform, I mean a resolution regime that can contain the spillover effects of a failure of the size of this firm. Dr. TROSKE. And that offers me a good segue into my next question, which is, again, a fairly general question that I want to ask. I have heard the term systemic used more often since I’ve been appointed to this panel than I had, you know, in the last—in my entire previous life. Yet I have yet to see an operational definition that would allow me to know what a systemic firm looks like and what one doesn’t look like. And if you seem to be arguing that we need a regulatory regime that regulates systemic firms that offer a systemic risk—to do that, I think we need a definition. And I would love for someone to give me one. And you’re sitting here, so I’m asking you. Sorry about that. Mr. MILLSTEIN. And I would love to take the bait and join issue with you on that. But I think we don’t have the time. Dr. TROSKE. Okay. Mr. MILLSTEIN. I mean, I think it’s important. I agree with you. It’s important. And if the regulatory reform bill passes, I think you’ll see one emerge from the new systemic risk regulator that is—— Dr. TROSKE. So you think we’re going to come up with a definition? Because, I mean, I would be happy if we did in which, you know, the government basically said these are the firms that we’re going to backstop—and so, we know the moral hazard is here with these firms—and everybody else we’re not. And we’ve got this dynamic definition. I guess I’m less confident than you are that that’s going to arise in a—— Mr. MILLSTEIN. Well, I mean, I think the premise, though, is wrong, that—some people worry about that the systemic—the systemic designation means that no, we’re not going to backstop you, you’re in the resolution regime where, you know, you’re going to be put to bed and you’re going to have, you know, living wills or whatever you want to call it, but severe regulatory oversight to prevent us from having to do what we did with AIG again. Dr. TROSKE. That’s all. Chair WARREN. Thank you very much, Mr. Millstein. I appreciate your being here today. Mr. MILLSTEIN. Thank you all. Chair WARREN. This hearing is concluded. We will hold the record open for questions and additional documentation from our various witnesses. Hearing adjourned. [The Congressional Oversight Panel, at 3:45 p.m., was adjourned] VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00235 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 230 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING [The following written statement of Keith M. Buckley, Group Managing Director, Global Insurance, Fitch Ratings, was submitted for the record:] VerDate Mar 15 2010 01:41 Feb 08, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00236 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00237 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 391 63515.121 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 231 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00238 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 392 63515.122 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 232 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00239 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 393 63515.123 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 233 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00240 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 394 63515.124 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 234 VerDate Mar 15 2010 23:43 Feb 07, 2011 Jkt 063515 PO 00000 Frm 00241 Fmt 6633 Sfmt 6602 E:\HR\OC\A515.XXX A515 Insert graphic folio 395/500 63515.125 smartinez on DSKB9S0YB1PROD with HEARING 235