Six months into the bailout, American International Group asks in a PowerPoint presentation pitched to anxious regulators “AIG: Is the Risk Systemic?” It’s a real nail-biter. In fact, it’s a new literary genre, the mystery-horror slideshow. It may look like any other mind-numbing Wall Street deck — dense, disorganized, and repetitive — but like AIG itself, it’s both scarier and more bloated.
The central message: AIG is big, really big, really, really, really big and if anything were to happen to AIG, any of its affiliates, subsidiaries or distant cousins, taxpayers around the world would suffer. But don’t ask too many specific questions. AIG is the monster under your bed and as we speak it is plotting to swallow you and your dollars before you can ask even one question. Don’t try running down the hall to Mom and Dad. He’s already taken care of them.
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Image by Yvette Silver, http://www.yvettesilver.com