Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Ireland is set to unveil yet another tax-payer funded recap of Anglo Irish Bank. The restructuring is being cobbled together as Ireland's cost of borrowing hits record levels and the expiry of Ireland's two-year blanket guarantee for bank liabilities looms. With any luck, this particular European black hole will be plugged and we can go back to worrying about Greece again.

Speaking of black holes, perhaps the Irish can take some solace from the US government's handling of AIG. Or rather, the US government's optimistic plans for exiting the financial debacle that is AIG. AIG's board is set to finalize a restructuring plan that would increase the US Treasury's stake in the insurer to 90%. The Treasury will be converting its preferred stake to common, thereby increasing its stake and diluting the bejesus out of shareholders yet again. The shareholders, mind you, think this is GREAT NEWS, as the stock is actually rallying today. I mean, everybody loves dilution. Right? To compensate shareholders for this particular kick in the groin, they get the pleasure of receiving warrants in AIG to buy MORE shares in the future at a discount to the current price. According to the genius quoted in the FT article "This would give other people the chance to buy shares on the cheap as well." Because, you know, the stock is definitely still gonna be trading at this price in the future, so the warrants are a real bargain. Also, since this is being called a "Government exit plan" and not an "entry plan," the government will be cleverly and sneakily off-loading its 90% stake (i.e. dumping large quantities of stock onto the market) which won't have any effect on the price, I'm sure. The stock can only go higher. So, you know, free money for everybody.

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