Tag Archives: AIG

$50 Billion Fraud At WallStreet

Source Reuters

 

Bernard Madoff, a quiet force on Wall Streetfor decades, was arrested and charged on Thursday with allegedly running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme in what may rank among the biggest frauds ever.

The former chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market is best known as the founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, the closely-held market-making firm he launched in 1960. But he also ran a hedge fund that U.S. prosecutors said racked up $50 billion of fraudulent losses.

Madoff told senior employees of his firm on Wednesday that “it’s all just one big lie” and that it was “basically, a giant Ponzi scheme,” with estimated investor losses of about $50 billion, according to the U.S. Attorney’s criminal complaint against him. A Ponzi scheme is a swindle where early investors are paid off with money from later investors.

The $50 billion allegedly lost to investors would make Madoff’s fund one of the biggest frauds in history. When Enron filed for bankruptcy in 2001, one of the largest at the time, it had $63.4 billion in assets.

U.S. prosecutors charged Madoff, 70, with a single count of securities fraud. They said he faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $5 million.

“Madoff stated that the business was insolvent, and that it had been for years,” Lev Dassin, acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed separate civil charges against Madoff.

Authorities said that, according to a document filed by Madoff with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on January 7, 2008, Madoff’s investment advisory business served between 11 and 25 clients and had a total of about $17.1 billion in assets under management. Those clients may have included other funds that in turn had many investors.

The SEC said it appeared that virtually all of the assets of his hedge fund business were missing.

CONSISTENT RETURNS

An investor in the hedge fund said it generated consistent returns, which was part of the attraction. Since 2004, annual returns averaged around 8 percent and ranged from 7.3 percent to 9 percent, but last decade returns were typically in the low-double digits, the investor said.

The fund told investors it followed a “split strike conversion” strategy, which entailed owning stock and buying and selling options to limit downside risk, said the investor, who requested anonymity.

Jon Najarian, an acquaintance of Madoff who has traded options for decades, said … “Many of us questioned how that strategy could generate those kinds of returns so consistently.”

Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com, once tried to buy what was then the Cincinnati Stock Exchangewhen Madoff was a major seatholder on the exchange. Najarian met with Madoff, who rejected his bid.

“He always seemed to be a straight shooter. I was shocked by this news,” Najarian said.

‘UNFORTUNATE SET OF EVENTS’

“Bernard Madoff is a longstanding leader in the financial services industry,” his lawyer Dan Horwitz told reporters outside a downtown Manhattan courtroom where he was charged. “We will fight to get through this unfortunate set of events.”

A shaken Madoff stared at the ground as reporters peppered him with questions. He was released after posting a $10 million bond secured by his Manhattan apartment.

“Our complaint alleges a stunning fraud — both in terms of scope and duration,” said Scott Friestad, the SEC’s deputy enforcer. “We are moving quickly and decisively to stop the scheme and protect the remaining assets for investors.”

Madoff had long kept the financial statements for his hedge fund business under “lock and key,” according to prosecutors, and was “cryptic” about the firm. The hedge fund business was located on a separate floor from the market making business.

Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities has more than $700 million in capital, according to its website. It is a market maker for about 350 Nasdaq stocks, including AppleEBay and Dell, according to the website.

The website also states that Madoff himself has “a personal interest in maintaining the unblemished record of value, fair-dealing, and high ethical standards that has always been the firm’s hallmark.”

The company’s web site may be found here: http://www.madoff.com/

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under News, Politics, US

AIG execs went on $500K retreat within days of bailout

After the bailout of AIG last month, the United States government effectively bought an 80% share in the company. That should have caused a fundamental change, you would think, in how the company was spending funds on compensation, bonuses and benefits.

But it doesn’t look like that’s what happened. The committee learned that shortly after the bailout went through, executives from AIG’s major U.S. life insurance subsidiary, AIG American General, held a week-long conference at an exclusive resort in California.

The resort is called the St. Regis Monarch Beach. … It’s very impressive. This is an exclusive resort. The rooms start, gentlemen, at $425 a night. Some are more than $1,200 a night. AIG spent nearly $500,000 in a single week at the at this hotel. Now, this was right after the bailout.Some of the charges  shareholders who are now U.S. taxpayers had to pay. Check this out.

AIG spent $200,000 for hotel rooms, and almost $150,000 for catered banquets. AIG spent  $23,000 at the hotel spa and another $1,400 at the salon. They were getting their manicures, their facials, their pedicures and their massages while the American people were were footing the bill. And they spent another $10,000 for leisure dining.

Leave a comment

Filed under Advertisment, AIG, bailout, Business, Capitalism, Democrats, Economy, Election, Election 2008, Entertainment, Fact, John Mccain, Mccain, Media, Mumbai, News, Palin, People, Politics, Republican, Sarah Palin, Stock Market, Uncategorized, US, US Government, Wallstreet

US National Debt and the presidents responsible for it

Leave a comment

Filed under Business, Capitalism, Fact, John Mccain, Mccain, News, Politics, Republican, Sarah Palin, US, US Government, Wallstreet

Taxpayers lash out over bailout

We asked you what you had to say about the bailout, and we heard you loud and clear: ‘No way!’

By David Goldman, CNNMoney.com staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — “NO NO NO. Not just no, but HELL NO,” writes Richard, a reader from Anchorage, Alaska.

“This is robbery pure and simple,” Anna from Denver posted on CNNMoney.com’s TalkBack blog this weekend.

“It’s our money! Let these companies die,” added Claudio from Plainville, Conn.

After President Bush petitioned Congress Saturday for the authority to spend up to $700 billion to to bail out a financial industry on the verge of collapse, he said the high price tag was not only justified, but essential.

“It is a big package because it’s a big problem,” Bush told reporters at a news conference. “The risk of doing nothing far outweighs the risk of the package.”

But when asked what they thought of the government’s proposal, most readers gave an overwhelming thumbs down.

“I’m tired of rewarding institutions and people for the bad decisions they have made,” said Dean from Madison, Wis. “Sure, it will hurt tax payers if/when some of these institutions fail, but perhaps we need to let that happen. We do not need more big government involved in our lives. Enough is enough.”

Don’t hand me the tab

Readers focused most of their indignation on having to foot the bill for irresponsible lenders and borrowers.

“Companies, like individuals, should be held responsible for their decisions,” wrote Jorge from El Paso, Texas. “This buyout does not address the other problems in the pipeline such as personal credit default and market slowdowns in most industries. No new jobs will be created.”

Paul from Portsmouth, N.H., said banks are getting the soft treatment when taxpayers are suffering.

“It is time for the financial institutions of this country to be called to the mat. We should be expecting and demanding responsible and ethical business practice, not rewarding it at the expense of taxpayers.”

And John from Springfield, Va., said the government action actually hurts the people it is intended to help.

“The government does not have $700 billion dollars. WE have $700 billion, and it is being taken from us. If this is passed then the next administration and the next will be extracting this one from the people who are supposedly being protected by this bailout.”

Where’s my bailout?

Other readers wanted to know why the government didn’t spend the $700 billion investment on the majority of responsible Americans who are suffering because of the bad bets of the few.

“Why not take the billions and … make funds available to home owners stuck in the loans these idiots created, marketed and sold,” asked Don from Coarsegold, Calif. “It will put the money where it should be with the little guy who made a mistake, instead of the big guy who created the problem.”

Jordan from Charlestown, Ind., asked why different rules applied to big banks and ordinary investors.

“Once I invested in something and lost money. Maybe I could just change the rules of investing so that my loss turns into a gain? Oh, I forgot only banks can do that!”

Vote these jerks out

Some readers said it was time for the politicians who support the bailout to get the heave-ho come November.

“I will be watching to see which of our representatives vote for this bailout,” said R. Kidd in Troy, N.C. “Let the American people see how many we can fire come election time.”

And many readers, including Danny from Texas said we should stop typing and start dialing the lawmakers who are prepared to give the OK to the bailout.

“Call your Congressman. Stop blogging, posting comments, and call your congressman. This is the patriotic thing to do. Let them hear your opinion, show them this is still America and that you will not stand for this!!”

A necessary sacrifice

But not all readers agreed. Some thought the bailout was an unfortunate but necessary move to rescue our financial system from collapse.

For instance, Bill from St. Louis said he changed his mind about the bailout when he realized the consequences of doing nothing.

“I was opposed to the bailout at first, but realized that the scope of this thing is global and so massive that the entire global economy could collapse if nothing was done. …The priority has to be resolving the present crisis of confidence in our economy. Remember, if Wall Street collapses, Main Street will go with it.”

Andy from Chicago said the cost to the taxpayer will not be what the headline number makes it seem.

“This money is not a handout to companies. It’s simply giving banks and mortgage companies loans, since the banking system itself is too unstable to raise this kind of capital. And no, the government cannot just use the $700 billion to pay back all the citizens that will be hurt by this. If the companies like AIG fail, the cost will be far far greater than $700 billion. Wake up!!”

And Surfta from Brooklyn, N.Y., says the government action is really not a bailout at all.

“It’s NOT a bailout. The government is not handing out cash, they actually stand to make a great deal of money out of this, which will trickle down to YOU. First priority should be to try to control and fix the problem, then regulate sufficiently to make sure this NEVER happens again.” To top of page

5 Comments

Filed under AIG, Business, Democrats, Economy, Election, Election 2008, Media, News, Politics, Republican, US, US Government, Wallstreet

Bail out taxpayer , not AIG

Is the govenment doing anything for the common man whos on the street because of the financial crisis? Is the governemnt here to bail out big companies only and not the common man who is on the street? Why are profits privatized and tax payer money is being used to bail out companies which no other private comapny wants to buy?

Between the $29 billion the Fed pledged to swing the Bear Stearns sale to JPMorgan in March, $100 billion apiece to rescue mortgage finance firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, up to $300 billion for the Federal Housing Authority, Tuesday’s $85 billion loan to insurer AIG and various other rescue deals and loans, taxpayers are potentially on the hook for more than $900 billion.

Why is that no one is punishing heads of these organization who are responsible for this crisis?

Earlier this year, Fuld, a 30-year veteran of the once-venerable Wall Street investment bank that filed for bankruptcy protection this past weekend, was awarded $22 million in retirement pay. Merrill Lynch chief E. Stanley O’Neal picked up $161 million from the Wall Street brokerage when he left last October after $40 billion of subprime-related write-downs. Former Citigroup head Chuck Prince stepped down with a $68 million package. Even former Bear Stearns chairman Jimmy Cayne picked up a reported $60 million after selling some of his Bear stock in the aftermath of that firm’s fire sale to J.P. Morgan earlier this year- Forbes

1 Comment

Filed under AIG, Business, Capitalism, Democrats, Economy, Election, Election 2008, Fact, John Mccain, Mccain, News, Palin, Politics, Republican, Sarah Palin, US, US Government, Wallstreet