CNBC: Breathless Liesman Exclaims: 'It's Official, The NY Fed Has Made An $18 Billion Profit On AIG'
Just to be clear, this is the Fed's side of the AIG bailout, not Treasury's, which itself injected $41.5 billion into AIG and still owns 61% of the company. If Treasury sold at today's prices it would earn approximately $5 billion on AIG.
And to be fair to the Fed, Liesman quotes a final profit of slightly more than $9 billion, but the NY Fed also made $8.2 billion in interest and fees from a credit line extended to AIG that was terminated last year. CNN quotes the correct figure of an $18 billion profit for the New York Fed.
However, the NY Fed also allowed Goldman et al. to keep $35B in collateral on the $62B in CDO's (face value) for which they paid the market price (at the time $27B). In other words, they may have made a "profit" on the $27B they paid for the CDO's, but AIG had already effectively spotted them $35B in unrecovered collateral towards the purchase price.
Regardless, the banks still got tens of billions in taxpayer protection on the decline in the value of those CDO's. Clearly another Geithner/Fed "success."
By law the Federal Reserve must turn over all profits to the U.S. Treasury at the end of every fiscal year. In January, the Fed sent $77 billion in 2011 profits over to Geithner.