2010年7月25日日曜日

AIG 和解

AIGが630億円を支払い、和解したようだ。
 米保険大手AIGは、同社の不正会計や株価操作をめぐる集団訴訟で、
総額7億2500を株主に支払うことで和解が成立したと発表した。

米オハイオ州の年金基金など株主が、AIGが行った反競争的行為、会計上
の規則違反、株価操作など「広範な詐欺的行為」が株主に損害を与えた
として提訴。

年金基金は、消防士、教諭、司書等の地方公務員が加盟する基金のようだ。
最近は話題にならないが、加州が財政破綻寸前と報道された時に、
カルパースも3割減となり、いくつかの格付け機関を提訴していた。
賭博で、資金調達はあぶく銭と思うが、日本でも未だに続く。

ガイトナー AIG救済で隠蔽工作か
カルパース 3割減


---米AIG:株主に630億円支払いで和解 集団訴訟で---
毎日新聞 2010年7月17日 17時59分
http://mainichi.jp/select/biz/news/20100718k0000m020013000c.html

 米保険大手アメリカン・インターナショナル・グループ(AIG)は16日、同社の不正会計や株価操作をめぐる集団訴訟で、総額7億2500万ドル(約630億円)を株主に支払うことで和解が成立したと発表した。
 米オハイオ州の年金基金など株主は、AIGが1999~2005年にかけて行った反競争的行為、会計上の規則違反、株価操作など「広範な詐欺的行為」が株主に損害を与えたとして提訴していた。
 AIGは06年、不正があったことを認めて米証券取引委員会(SEC)などと和解している。(共同)


---A.I.G. to Pay $725 Million in Ohio Case---
By MICHAEL POWELL and MARY WILLIAMS WALSH
Published: July 16, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/17/business/17aig.html?src=mv

The American International Group, once the nation’s largest insurance group before it nearly collapsed in 2008, has agreed to pay $725 million to three Ohio pension funds to settle six-year-old claims of accounting fraud, stock manipulation and bid-rigging.

Taken together with earlier settlements, A.I.G. will ladle out more than $1 billion to Ohio investors, money that will go to firefighters, teachers, librarians and other pensioners. The state’s attorney general, Richard Cordray, said Friday, that it was the 10th largest securities class-action settlement in United States history.

“No privileged few are entitled to play by different rules than the rest of us,” Mr. Cordray said during a news conference. “Ohio is determined to send a strong message to the marketplace that companies who don’t play by the rules will pay a steep price.”

A.I.G. disclosed the terms of the settlement in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

How A.I.G. will pay for this settlement is an open question. It has agreed to a two-step payment, in no small part to give it time to figure out how to raise the money.

Executives are well aware that taxpayers and legislators would cry foul if it paid the lawsuit with any portion of the $22 billion in federal rescue money still available from the United States Treasury.

Instead, the company intends to pay $175 million within 10 days of court approval of its settlement. It plans to raise $550 million through a stock offering in the spring of 2011. That prospect struck some market analysts as a long shot.

“There’s still a lot of question marks hanging over A.I.G.,” said Chris Whalen, a co-founder of Institutional Risk Analytics, a research firm. “How would you write a prospectus for it?

“The document,” he said, “would be quite appalling when it described the risks.”

A.I.G.’s former chief executive, Maurice R. Greenberg, and other executives agreed to pay $115 million in an earlier settlement with Ohio, which filed its lawsuit in 2004.

State attorneys general often have proved more aggressive than federal regulators in going after financial houses in the wake of the 2008 crisis. And A.I.G. could face new legal headaches. For instance New York’s attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, has stepped up his investigation of the company in the last few weeks, according to a person with direct knowledge of the case.

The Ohio settlement allows “A.I.G. to continue to focus its efforts on paying back taxpayers and restoring the value of our franchise,” Mark Herr, a company spokesman, said in a news release.

The Ohio case was filed on behalf of pension funds in the state that had suffered significant losses in their holdings of A.I.G. when its share price plummeted after it restated results for years before 2004. Those restatements followed an investigation by Eliot L. Spitzer, Mr. Cuomo's predecessor, into accounting irregularities at the company and the subsequent resignation of Mr. Greenberg.

But the company faces a long and uncertain road, say Wall Street analysts.

Its stock, after adjusting for a reverse split, once traded at $1,446.80 a share; it stands now at $35.64.

A.I.G. has become the definition of turmoil. Its chairman resigned this week after a fierce feud with the chief executive, who has referred dismissively to “all those crazies down in Washington.”

Those crazies presumably include the federal government, which over the last two years gave A.I.G. the largest bailout in United States history, making $182 billion available to the company.

And the company’s proposed stock offering next year is rife with uncertainties. Such an offering would by definition dilute the value of the government’s holdings.

A.I.G. has struggled of late to sell off subsidiaries to repay the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This year the company failed in its attempts to turn its Asian life insurance subsidiary over to Prudential of Britain. This week the company’s directors voted to proceed with an initial public offering of the same subsidiary, with the proceeds intended for the Federal Reserve.

Should the company fail to raise the $550 million, Ohio has the right to resume its litigation.

The fall of the world’s largest insurance company began in the autumn of 2008, when a sudden downgrade in its credit worthiness set off something like a bank run. It turned out that the company had sold questionable derivatives that were used to prop up the portfolios of other financial institutions.

Federal officials moved quickly to bail out the company, fearing that if A.I.G. toppled, dozens of financial institutions would quickly fall as well. Havoc seemed in the offing.

Federal investigators have since examined many aspects of the company’s behavior, even convening a grand jury in New York. But they have never brought charges against the company or its top officials.

“The states are too often the only ones to watch out for this misconduct,” Mr. Cordray said Friday. “For years, people have been asleep at the switch.”

Louise Story contributed reporting.

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