there’s a lot of love/anger in this spreadsheet

  • 11 Sep 2012 at 11:34 AM

How Much Did The Government Make On AIG, Anyway?

AIG priced a giant stock offering last night at $32.50, making the government rich. A really really simple question you could ask about AIG is “how’s the government doing?” and I Googled around for the answer yesterday and got increasingly frustrated, then angry, then drunk. Why can’t someone tell me that? The answer has to do I think with competing interests and secrecy and embarrassment and innumeracy both real and tactical, and I could write a book about it but won’t.1 Instead, I will just tell you how the government is doing on AIG, and then you will know.2

  • The government has gotten back $12.3 $15 billion more than it put into AIG so far, plus it has about $10bn $8 billion worth of AIG shares left over. (This is what the government says too, to within rounding error.) [Update: revised for greenshoe exercise.]
  • So, great!
  • Its IRR is 3.2% 3.9%, or 5.7% if you assume it sold the remaining AIG shares today (which: it didn’t).
  • If you assume the government’s cost of capital for the bailout was 3.04%, or roughly 5-year Treasury rates as of the time they signed on to this almost 5-year bailout, then the government’s made an economic profit (returns in excess of cost of capital) of $600 million $3 billion, or $9.9 billion including the remaining AIG shares.
  • If you assume the appropriate discount rate for the bailout was 12%, or roughly what AIG’s initial Fed credit facility paid, then the government has undercharged AIG by about $26.3 $24.6 billion, or $19.7 billion including the remaining shares.
  • Neither is a good assumption.3
  • The end.

Here’s a chart:

Here is the math. Here is a footnote with sources, caveats, instructions for correcting errors, etc.4 Read more »