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If the US government had not stepped in, and AIG had gone bankrupt, the knock-on effect at institutions around the world would have been disastrous.
‘As it is, Cassano’s exotic financial dealings are the biggest single component of the crisis on Wall Street and in the City.’Cassano moved to England in 1987 from the US but still owns a house in Westport, Connecticut.
His pitch was so convincing that many small investors sank substantial sums of their life savings into AIG shares.
Last week, AIG was effectively nationalised with an £48billion loan from the US Federal Reserve to avert a collapse that would have triggered unimaginable consequences on the world’s financial markets.
During the credit explosion the CDS demand was huge.
By 2007 Cassano’s division was providing guarantees mainly through credit default swaps on about 0billion of assets (£285billion).
Two decades on, Mr Cassano is one of several AIG executives facing a lawsuit accusing them of deceiving hundreds of thousands of investors who suffered huge losses in the latest crash on Wall Street.
According to papers filed in New York’s federal court, he claimed the policies he marketed were so safe they would never lose as much as ‘one dollar’.