And it contradicts reporting by Gretchen Morgenson of the Times that Goldman had a $20 billion exposure to AIG had the government let that insurer collapse.
This year, Goldman also saw trouble brewing in the insurance sector and began hedging its exposure to AIG, which had a notional value of about $20 billion as of mid-September, according to a person familiar with the strategy. The hedges included short positions on AIG and other insurance companies, as well as CDSs. Goldman wouldn’t have lost money if AIG had gone out of business, the person said, although the collapse would have caused wide- spread economic distress.
Who is right? “Several” people talked to by the Times or “a person familiar with the strategy” talked to by Bloomberg. I’ll side with the NYT until further notice.
And a useless-detail alert, with Bloomberg learning from the Journal:
Goldman executives, fortified with Chinese takeout, gourmet pizza and burgers from Harry’s at Hanover Square, had spent the weekend debating the firm’s options.
But inquiring minds really want to know: Where was the Chinese from? Au Mandarin or China Chalet? Liberty View perhaps?
The LA Times take a good long look at the health-insurance industry rejecting patients with minor pre-existing conditions, in the first of a three-part series.
Insurers insist that they can’t stay in business without excluding chronic disease sufferers, known in the industry as “clinical train wrecks.” But companies in the individual market also want to avoid even marginal risk — adopting a practice some insiders call “hangnail underwriting.”
Even nonprofits such as Blue Shield of California are obliged to follow prevailing market practices, lest they be swamped with the highest-cost customers.
“That’s the game,” said Cindy Ehnes, director of the California Department of Managed Health Care. Risk selection, she said, “must be part of every insurer’s strategy or else they potentially will get all the bad risk.”
Such cherry-picking tripped up Pam Munter when she applied for individual coverage two years ago. She had retired from a clinical psychology practice in Oregon and moved to California, where her insurance applications were rejected, one after another.
The reason: She takes Prevacid for gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is a widely prescribed drug with annual sales exceeding $3 billion.
The NY Times notes the rapidly changing Zeitgeist has Hollywood is scrambling to keep up with drastically changed views of Wall Street.