March 27, 2009

You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em...

Just beautiful. The same gamblers who steered AIG into the ditch are still there - with the same jobs! Nothing succeeds quite like failure in the financial services industry, huh?

Inside American International Group Inc., a group of top executives called the Credit Risk Committee oversaw some of the company's biggest bets, such as the insurer's foray into credit-default swaps.

But even after a $173 billion government bailout, this group, which reviewed and approved risk-taking decisions, remains largely unchanged. At least five of the 10 committee members have served for years, according to internal company documents. Some served as far back as 2003 and 2004, the documents show.

Even amid change at AIG, much of the company's day-to-day infrastructure remains in place. Many of the high-level AIG executives who approved the insurer's risk-taking before the company's near collapse still are at their posts.

Among the longtime risk-committee members are Robert Lewis, AIG's chief risk officer since 2004; Kevin McGinn, chief credit officer and chairman of the committee; Win Neuger, chief executive of AIG Investments; William Dooley, head of AIG's financial-services division, which includes the financial-products unit that sold the credit-default swaps; and Barbara-Ann Livanou, director of financial institutions in the credit-risk-management department.

AIG said in a statement: "AIG is committed to strong risk management....Recently, consistent with the terms of the U.S. Treasury's preferred investment in AIG, the company has clarified the authority regarding the board's now-named Finance and Risk Committee. The committee, among other things, reports to and assists the board in overseeing and reviewing information regarding AIG's enterprise risk management."

I wonder if these are some of the same people who got those fabulous retention bonuses?

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