At least that’s what Fed chairman Bernenke and Treasury secretary Paulson think, and the congress and president agree with them. But how about the shareholders and we the tax payers? The AIG shareholders are almost wiped out (slightly better than Fannie and Freddie), and the price tag is $85 billion for now.
So summary, the price tag of recent big financial firms fallout.
(Update, according to WSJ) The deal in summary: the US treasury dept. will put up to 200 billion ($100 billion each) to support the mortgages loss from Fannie and Freddie; the treasury will buy $1 billlon of preferred shares for 10% divivend, the preferred are senior to all other preferred previously issued (I believe all the other preferred holders won’t have much left); the treasury will have warrant to buy FNM and FRE up to 79.9% of company common stock for a nonimal (i.e. the current shareholders such as Legg Mason, Dodge Cox mutual funds will be diluted 1:5 after recent big stock price drop).
It appears the direct cause of the bailout is Chinese and Russian goverments are no longer willing to buy the debt of Fannie/Freddie. So what US goverment did is “all right, we will eat our own dog food”, and hopefully Chinese and Russians will follow.