If the New York Sun closes shop soon, as has been rumored for the past month, we will be worse off without its no-bull headlines such as the one atop this morning’s edition. Although I vehemently disagree with the Sun’s warmongering, neocon editorial tendencies, more often than not they’re the only paper to get it right on economic matters. Take, for example, today’s headlines with respect to AIG.
The New York Times: “Fed in an $85 Billion Rescue of an Insurer Near Failure”
Daily News: “Fed grants ailing AIG $85 Billion Loan”
You would think the Fed is just lending the firm a big pile of money, not taking it over.
The Post comes a bit closer to the truth: “Rich Uncle: Feds ‘Buy’ Insurance Giant AIG in $85 Billion Rescue”
But only the Sun calls it as it is: “America Nationalizes AIG Group”
Which is, after all, exactly what happened. The “loan” is poppycock. The Federal Reserve — the frigging central bank, for goodness sake, which should have nothing to do with the insurance industry — took an 80% equity stake in AIG, turning a formerly private insurance company into a government entity. We may as well be a banana republic nationalizing the oil companies. This follows the nationalization of mortgage lenders (which were never all that private in the first place) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Watch for the nationalization of airlines and auto manufacturers coming soon.
On the editorial page, the Sun also astutely points out that Eliot Spitzer may have helped to precipitate AIG’s downfall, by forcing out legendary CEO Hank Greenberg – despite never finding any wrongdoing on Greenberg’s part – and installing incompetent management of his choosing.