-On Saturday night the Dallas Cowboys had perhaps their most complete game this year as they beat the New Orleans Saints in convincing fashion. If the Cowboys can play at that focus level they will not be a team anyone wants to play in the playoffs. The Saints are still in great shape after the loss, but the defense was pushed around last night so they will have to get mean.
-The New England Patriots beat the Buffalo Bills is a lackluster effort and then got all the help they will need when both the Miami Dolphins and the NY Jets lost their games. The Patriots can cement a playoff spot with one win in their last 2 games. They cannot improve to better than the 4th seed unless they get help.
-Still some games going on right now with the Bengals/Chargers game being the biggest contest.
Yves Smith wonders why there has never been any investigation into all things AIG:
Why has there been NO serious investigation of ANY kind of the recipient of such extraordinary taxpayer largesse? Why has virtually NOTHING been demanded of them? Why the unseemly rush to let them off the hook and let them “pay back the TARP”? This is completely unwarranted in the case of AIG, which has had its deal with the government retraded in AIG’s favor a full four times. Why has AIG at every turn gotten a better and better deal, each time at the public’s expense, and is now allowed to lobby that it should be freed of its obligations? No private sector lender would allow a troubled borrower that could not meet its commitments to renegotiate and get IMPROVED terms. The inability to meet the terms of the original funding (one on terms private sector lenders were willing to consider, and that per Sorkin, AIG itself proposed) only strengthens the case to continue with the original plan, which is to break up AIG and sell the pieces for what they can fetch. This is the course that would yield the highest returns to the public, and that program will not produce a systemic event, which should be the ONLY offsetting consideration. There is no business rationale to have an agglomeration of diverse insurance businesses, particularly one that has been as badly managed as AIG (Sorkin’s account also reveals a shocking lack of financial and operational controls).
This is a key issue. Under the banner of "we cannot hurt confidence" nothing has been, nor will ever, be disclosed about all of these bailouts. I would think rational people could conclude that if indeed the system could not survive if the full scale of how deeply messed up things are was openly discussed then by definition the system cannot survive. That is rational. Instead you get a market rally. Good stuff.
Have a good night.