Skip to main content

Hugh Hendry: AIG is "no longer with us"

BusinessWeek points us to Hugh Hendry's recent comments on AIG and the process by which supposedly "too big to fail" financial companies have become wards of the state:

"To the average U.S. taxpayer, the math may not sound right: After pumping in about $150 billion of federal money (with another $30 billion to come), American International Group posts a quarterly loss of almost $62 billion—the largest in history. And it will have access to $30 billion in new cash from Washington.

American International Group is being broken up in exchange for getting yet get another lifeline from the government. The former insurance giant posted a staggering $61.7 billion loss for the fourth quarter (about $22.95 per diluted share). Now, AIG is putting what are considered to be its most valuable insurance assets—American International Assurance (AIA) and its Asian operations—under direct government control. Once the businesses are sold, taxpayers will reap the benefits.

I was struck by what Hugh Hendry, Chief Investment Officer at Eclectica, told CNBC this morning: “AIG is really no longer with us … I think the reality is (a lot of financial companies) left the business last year.”"

As BusinessWeek writer Diane Brady noted in the final excerpted paragraph (above), Hugh Hendry made some interesting comments about AIG and the financial sector in his CNBC guest host appearance today.

In his interview with CNBC, Hendry points out that AIG is on artificial life support from the government (read: taxpayer funds) and that many other financial companies are now in the same situation.

Now that AIG is asking for (and receiving) another lifeline of funds and more lenient government bailout terms, Hugh reminds us that "AIG is no longer with us".

""We live in a very strange, twilight period where we pretend that a lot of these financial companies are still with us. I think the reality is they left the business last year," Hendry added."

Hendry also notes that the stock market is viewing many of these trouble financial firms as essentially bankrupt, and that bank nationalization would provide for an "orderly liquidation" of debts from these insolvent institutions.

Interestingly enough, Hugh's thoughts on this issue seem to mirror those offered today by CNBC host Rick Santelli, who also favors a sort of controlled bankruptcy-style process for these firms.

At the same time, Hendry noted that the endless bailout actions and the frenzied search for solutions are a waste of time and effort. Check out his thoughts on the long transition cycles that take asset prices from overvaluation to undervaluation for more on this point.

Popular posts from this blog

The Dot-Com Bubble in 1 Chart: InfoSpace

With all the recent talk of a new bubble in the making, thanks in part to the Yellen Fed's continued easy money stance, I thought it'd be instructive to revisit our previous stock market bubble - in one quick chart.

So here's what a real stock market bubble looks like. 

Here's what a bubble *really* looks like. InfoSpace in 1999-2001. $QQQ$BCORpic.twitter.com/xjsMk433H7
— David Shvartsman (@FinanceTrends) February 24, 2015
For those of you who are a little too young to recall it, this is a chart of InfoSpace at the height of the Nasdaq dot-com bubble in 1999-2001. This fallen angel soared to fantastic heights only to plummet back down to earth as the bubble, and InfoSpace's shady business plan, turned to rubble.

As detailed in our post, "Round trip stocks: Momentum booms and busts", InfoSpace rocketed from under $100 a share to over $1,300 a share in less than six months. 

In a pattern common to many parabolic shooting stars, the stock soon peaked and began a…

New! Finance Trends now at FinanceTrendsLetter.com

Update for our readers: Finance Trends has a new URL! 

Please bookmark our new web address at Financetrendsletter.com

Readers sticking with RSS updates should point your feed readers to our new Finance Trends feedburner.  



Thank you to all of our loyal readers who have been with us since the early days. Exciting stuff to come in the weeks ahead!

As a quick reminder, you can subscribe to our free email list to receive the Finance Trends Newsletter. You'll receive email updates about once every 4-8 weeks (about 2-3 times per quarter). 

Stay up to date with our real-time insights and updates on Twitter.

Moneyball: How the Red Sox Win Championships

Welcome, readers. To get the first look at brand new posts (like the following piece) and to receive our exclusive email list updates, please subscribe to the Finance Trends Newsletter.

The Boston Red Sox won their fourth World Series titleof the 21st century this week.

Having won their first Series in 86 years back in 2004, the last decade-plus has marked a very strong return to form for one of baseball's oldest big league clubs. So how did they do it?

Quick background: in late 2002, team owner and hedge fund manager,John W. Henry(with his partners)bought the Boston Red Sox and its historic Fenway Park for a reported sum of $695 million.

Henry and Co. quickly set out to find their ideal General Manager (GM) to help turn around their newly acquired, ailing ship.

This brings us to one of my favorite scenes from the 2011 film, Moneyball, in which John W. Henry (played by Arliss Howard) attempts to woo Oakland A's GM Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) over to Boston with an excellent job off…