Friday, August 7, 2009

AIG breakup nets Wall Street $1 billion bonanza: report

AIG breakup nets Wall Street $1 billion bonanza: report

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Wall Street banks and lawyers could collect nearly $1 billion in fees from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and American International Group Inc to help manage and break apart the insurer, The Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday, citing its own analysis.

Morgan Stanley could collect as much as $250 million, the newspaper said, citing banking experts and documents released by the New York Fed.

Bank of America Corp, private equity firm Blackstone Group LP, law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, accounting firm Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co are among others that have or could get big paydays for helping dismantle AIG, the newspaper said.

To calculate dollar amounts, the newspaper said it tallied estimated fees for transactions already announced and those AIG is considering, planning or may be forced to pursue. It said it obtained assistance from Freeman & Co, Thomson Reuters and documents provided by the New York Fed.

According to the newspaper, the situation creates potential conflicts of interest in oversight by causing the government to employ many companies it regulates.

The government owns nearly 80 percent of AIG, and has given the insurer a series of bailouts estimated at $180 billion.

AIG was felled by big bets on credit default swaps that left it on the hook for tens of billions of dollars of payouts it could not make.

Shares of AIG closed Wednesday up 62.7 percent at $22 on the New York Stock Exchange, as investors rushed to cover short positions. AIG has said it plans to report second-quarter results on Friday.

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