I do not do links unless they are really good.
This is really good.
The Aleph Blog has a simply wonderful piece on AIG – going through and asking in a clear way which (if any) AIG operations were sound.
It helps if you have some expertise in insurance – for instance it helps if you know instinctively that when insurance company A owns insurance company B it winds up with some double counting of capital and hence lower solvency than if the companies are independent and jointly owned by a holding company.
That said Mr Merkel has done what nobody in the press has done and really analysed AIG. His bit on security lending is really useful.
Finally when AIG went under I thought the life insurance companies were sound. I later decided otherwise. Mr Merkel explains why in very simple terms though I suspect the life companies are even worse than he makes out.
Happy reading - and don't buy any of the debt because there is no value left in my view.