Tuesday, September 16, 2008

How banks depend on AIG

From the BBC:
Ken Lewis, the chief executive of Bank of America, said yesterday that "I don't know of a major bank that doesn't have some significant exposure to AIG".

So AIG's need to raise billions in new capital to shore itself up has sent shockwaves through global markets and helped to undermined the share prices of many banks.

But how exactly are banks "exposed" to AIG?

Light is shed by an insightful bit of research by Sandy Chen of Panmure Gordon.

He has found the following paragraph in AIG's US regulatory filing:

"Approximately $307bn (consisting of corporate loans and prime residential mortgages) of the $441bn in notional exposure of AIGFP's super senior credit default swap portfolio as of June 30, 2008 represented derivatives written for financial institutions, principally in Europe, for the purpose of providing regulatory capital relief rather than risk mitigation. In exchange for a minimum guaranteed fee, the counterparties receive credit protection with respect to diversified loan portfolios they own, thus improving their regulatory capital position.">>>MORE