Bad Accounting Rules Helped Sink AIG

The decision by the Federal Reserve to loan insurance giant AIG $85 billion in return for as much as 80% ownership of the company is by any measure dramatic. The takeover early last week of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac represented the culmination of years of intermingling of public and private interests. Even if the intervention was imperative, its scope is startling.

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Are Transparent Banks Healthier?

Lehman Brothers, one of the premier Wall Street investment banks, announced a new round of steep losses in the ongoing credit crisis. Critics were quick to point the finger at one glaring issue: "It's the lack of transparency," said one prominent fund manager. "Most investors don't have any way of knowing what is out there in terms of bad debt."

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