Fatal Risk

To FINANCIAL TIMES Letters

Sir, FATAL RISK: A Cautionary Tale of AIG’s Corporate Suicide by Roddy Boyd, is a “sober work … researched extremely thoroughly,” FT, April 21, 2011, reports. AIG’s suicide “is one of monumental complexity.” 

The mechanics of the suicide may be complex. The cause of the AIG’s becoming “too big to fail” is not complex. The cause is so simple, it flies under the radar screen. It’s too simple for writings on the Great Meltdown to grasp. Only egregious corporate takeoers by AIG, JPMorgan-Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, et al., made them too titanic to adhere to U. S. laws of bankruptcy.

AIG grew too titanic to take bankruptcy only after it took over Anmerican General Life Insurance Companies, the insurer SunAmerica, and almost a trillion dollars of other companies’ assets–too titanic to survive without the $180 billion bailout.

When it abandoned its suit to prevent ITT’s takeover of Hartford Fire Insurance Co. the U. S. Deprartment of Justice determined a corporate acqusisitor becomes too titanic through gigantic takeovers to adhere to U. S. laws–ironically the suit it explictly brought to prevent the gigantic takeovers that made AIG and its brethern too titanic to let sink.  

John F. Winslow                                                                    Washington, D.C.

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