March 31, 2009

and we looked
and we passed
through the hallways of shatterproof glass

Melinda Stickney-Gibson, Thinking This Thinking That, 2007

* On Joe Cassano, the man who brought down AIG. excerpt:

"The FBI and federal prosecutors are reportedly closing in on the AIG executive whose suspect investments cost the insurance giant hundreds of billions of dollars. The government is investigating whether or not 54-year old Brooklyn-native Joseph Cassano committed criminal fraud in virtually bankrupting the company."
"Cassano, who lives in London, made more than $300 million running the infamous Financial Products Division of AIG where he, with about a dozen others, committed AIG to insure what turned out to be more than a trillion dollars worth of junk quality loans held by banks."
"After the huge losses became known, Cassano was fired from AIG in early 2008, but he still received a salary of $1 million a month until Congress intervened. AIG has received about a $180 billion in bailout funds so far."
"An ABC News investigation found that Cassano set up some dozens of separate companies, some off-shore, to handle the transactions, effectively keeping them off the books of AIG and out of sight of regulators in the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

"'This is the other very important issue underneath the AIG scandal,' said Blum. 'All of these contracts were moved offshore for the express purpose of getting out from under regulation and tax evasion.'

"And nobody in the United Kingdom was monitoring AIG's actions either, according to a member of Parliament there."

* Thursday At Solly's (11 & U, WDC): The Foreign Press, Sun Committee, and Reversal. Early show, The Foreign Press hits the stage around 8. Free.

* Indie Rockers cover Mr. Neil Young.

* "Your true value depends entirely on what you are compared with." -- Bob Wells


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