2006 news: AIG has exited CDS business. Redacted documents from the Geithner and Paulson grilling

AIG’s mysterious Schedule A finally revealed

The new information also reveals that of the 178 tranches of CDOs that AIG insured, some 14% were on deals issued after 2005. That’s critical because in December 2007, former AIG Financial Products head Joseph Cassano had said AIG largely got out of the CDS business by the end of 2005.

The newly disclosed information also reveals that Goldman not only bought a lot of CDS from AIG to protect itself; the Wall Street firm also originated a good number of the CDOs that were in SocGen’s portfolio. Some of the Goldman deals in SocGen’s portfolio that AIG had insured includes CDOs with names like Adirondack 2005, Putnam Structured Product CDO 2002 and Davis Square Funding IV.

Janet Tavakoli, a derivatives consultant who has called the AIG bailout a gift to the Wall Street banks, said the issue isn’t just what deals AIG insured, but the underlying assets in those deals. She noted that a goodly number of the CDOs held by the banks also held pieces of other CDOs.

Goldman Sachs, Societe Generale, Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and other banks sold their ailing collateralized debt obligations to the New York Fed-sponsored entity, Maiden Lane III. AIG then canceled out the CDS contracts it had sold as default insurance on those 178 CDOs.

“If all of this had come out in the public domain in late 2008, Goldman Sachs and Merrill would have been deeply embarassed and the Federal Reserve woudl have been questioned,” said Tavakoli.1

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