We’ve always liked the term “zombie firms.” Of course, a strong affinity for zombie movies (we are classic 1979 Dawn of the Dead fans) assured that we like anything with the word “zombie” in it, so perhaps this isn’t saying much. Still, our unholy communion with the dead and the damned, and all the sympathy for the animated recently-living such a connection invokes, is not enough to even crack a smile when the word is used in the same paragraph as AIG.
Let us be clear. AIG is not a zombie. Follow us closely here. There are, of course, some similarities:
1. If you are bitten by a Zombie you might also become a Zombie. (See e.g., Lehman Counterparties). The same is true for many of AIG’s associates.
2. Zombies appear to possess little or no intelligence. (Check).
3. Loud groaning emanates from Zombies. (Ceasless whining from AIG)
But key differences remind us how far apart they actually are:
A. Zombies are self-ambulatory. Even if all that is left is a severed head, you can bet that head will be working its jaw to roll itself over before using its jaw and tongue to move towards the nearest food source. AIG couldn’t fall out of bed without a wheelchair.
B. Zombies make no attempt to conceal the severe trauma their bodies have endured.
C. Zombies don’t take spa trips.
Revised AIG Terms Begin Treasury Transfusions to ‘Zombie’ Firms [Bloomberg]