As we’ve discussed before, AIG‘s little hidden hedge fund, Financial Products Group, not only took down the world’s largest insurance company, it had a huge hand in the global meltdown last fall. While some of AIG’s counter-parties came out pretty unscathed (Goldman Sachs), the rest of the financial complex surely did not.
While there were few innocents, Financial Products and it’s fearless leader, Joe Cassano, stand head and shoulders above almost everyone in terms of their recklessness and culpability. This guy’s days of freedom are probably numbered.
Michael Lewis‘s brand new article in Vanity Fair should be atop your weekend reading list, kids.
From: The Man Who Crashed the World
Almost a year after A.I.G.’s collapse, despite a tidal wave of outrage, there still has been no clear explanation of what toppled the insurance giant. The author decides to ask the people involved—the silent, shell-shocked traders of the A.I.G. Financial Products unit—and finds that the story may have a villain, whose reign of terror over 400 employees brought the company, the U.S. economy, and the global financial system to their knees.
“A.I.G. F.P. became a dictatorship,” says one London trader. “Joe would bully people around. He’d humiliate them and then try to make it up to them by giving them huge amounts of money.”
Read the rest: