Joseph Cassano - Work At AIG - Subprime Mortgage Crisis

Subprime Mortgage Crisis

Cassano sold hundreds of billions of credit protection in the form of CDSs without having to put up any real money as collateral as this form of insurance had been deregulated with the Phil Gramm-sponsored Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, signed by Bill Clinton. When, in the financial crisis of 2008, investment banks requested insurance money for their collapsing derivatives, AIG was unable to deliver and received a bail-out from the taxpayers. Just one year earlier while discussing the company's CDS portfolio with analysts, he said "It is hard for us, and without being flippant, to even see a scenario within any realm of reason that would see us losing $1 in any of those transactions."

During his career at AIGFP from 1987 until he was forced to retire in March 2008, Cassano received $315 million: $280 million in cash and an additional $34 million in bonuses. An initial $1 million-a-month consulting fee was later canceled. According to Matt Taibbi:

In fact, Cassano remained on the payroll and kept collecting his monthly million through the end of September 2008, even after taxpayers had been forced to hand AIG $85 billion to patch up his mistakes. When asked in October why the company still retained Cassano at his $1 million-a-month rate despite his role in the probable downfall of Western civilization, CEO Martin Sullivan told Congress with a straight face that AIG wanted to "retain the 20-year knowledge that Mr. Cassano had." (Cassano, who is apparently hiding out in his lavish town house near Harrods in London, could not be reached for comment.)

In the wake of the scandal, United States regulators and the United Kingdom Serious Fraud Office began investigating Cassano's dealings to determine whether they were just excessive and risky, or criminal.

Read more about this topic:  Joseph Cassano, Work At AIG

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