The world is pawing through the trove of transcripts from the crisis. Here`s a nugget I picked up from Bill Dudley at the Sept 16 meeting (pdf of transcript):
Of course, we also have the issue of AIG. The AIG problem is at least starting as a liquidity crisis. The problem with AIG is that the parent company doesn’t have a lot of liquidity resources and doesn’t have easy ability to funnel liquidity up from their subsidiaries because most of the subsidiaries are regulated entities. So AIG is running into two problems: One, they are unable to roll their commercial paper and, two, as their ratings are downgraded—they were downgraded by Moody’s yesterday, I think from AA minus to A minus, but don’t quote me on that—they have to post a lot more collateral against their derivatives exposures and also with respect to their GIC (guaranteed investment contract) business. So AIG is in a situation in which the parent is basically going to run out of money—today, tomorrow, Thursday, or very, very soon. Now we say it’s a liquidity thing, but a lot of times when people look closer at the books they find out that the liquidity crisis may also be a solvency issue. I think it is still a little unclear whether AIG’s problems are confined just to liquidity. It also may be an issue of how much this company is really worth.
When you hear one of the world`s biggest insurers is about to go bankrupt, you better pour yourself another coffee.