I have never seen a company more determined to make itself universally reviled than AIG. It truly boggles the mind that anyone at AIG, especially those in the financial products division that lost $62 billion on credit default swaps in the fourth quarter alone, could think they should receive a bonus.
I don’t care what the contract says – if you’re party to losing $62 billion in a three-month span, you get no reward. Sorry. And if you even have to ask if bonuses can be paid with bailout money that’s keeping your business going, your moral compass is seriously out of whack.
And it doesn’t end with the bonuses. Of the $170 billion American taxpayers have dumped into the bottomless pit that is AIG, $106 billion was paid out in settlement for the credit default swaps that AIG guaranteed.
$11.92 billion to France’s SocGen, $11.8 billion to Deustche bank and $12 billion to Paulson’s own Goldman Sachs. Well, isn’t that nice. We’ve paid off foreign banks, and our former Treasury Secretary made sure his alma mater got its payoff, too.
This is dirty business. And if Paulson knew the extent of Goldman’s exposure to AIG, and it’s impossible to think he didn’t, he needs to be called to account for his actions.
*****I’m going to try not to obsess on AIG. I know it makes us all angry. And to paraphrase Jon Stewart in his now infamous interview with Jim Cramer, it feels as though we, the American taxpayers, are continuing to capitalize Wall Street’s "adventure."
But there’s an ongoing rally in the stock markets, and our time will be better spent on ways to make some money.
*****The S&P 500 has recovered nearly 95 points, or 14% from its recent lows. It seems highly likely that stocks are on the verge of a move lower to test some support levels. Jason Cimpl, the technical analyst from TradeMaster Daily Stock Alerts, is watching 740 as the first important support level for the S&P 500.
Jason is currently long the US Oil Trust (USO) since Monday and anticipating some downside with a short financial ETF.
I’ll be watching that 740 support point to re-enter a couple Daily Profit stocks. CardioNet (Nasdaq:BEAT), SXC Health Solutions (Nasdaq:SXCI) and Graham Corp (AMEX:GHM) are my top candidates.
Jason will be discussing the market’s current trading patterns in more detail, with charts and specific investment opportunities in an upcoming TradeMaster video conference that will air on March 25. Here’s a registration LINK if you’d like to sit in. Plus, when you register, we send you TradeMaster Daily Stock Alerts right up until video conference. That way, you’ll be able to make the most of the information and trading ideas we explore.