The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week
2. C-GAITS. C-GAITS Run. Run, C-GAITS, Run.
We're feeling sorry for American International Group (AIG) this week.
Well, sort of.
On Monday, the insurance giant disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission may take legal action against the company.At issue are three press releases AIG issued related to some old transactions it had with PNC Financial Services (PNC) -- not the actual transactions, mind you, but press releases referring to the transactions. One of those press releases came out in January 2002, and two were issued last month. One of last month's press releases mentioned that an SEC investigation of AIG "involves certain transactions" marketed by AIG, "including three transactions" with PNC. Now, as we read that press release, we interpret that phrase "including three transactions" as meaning that more than three deals were under investigation. But the SEC's staff, AIG explained Monday, thinks that AIG was "false and misleading" by not mentioning five other transactions the feds believe were similar. Furthermore, the SEC staff believes AIG should have named the counterparties to these transactions. In other words, as far as we can tell, the SEC didn't just want AIG to tell the truth in its press releases; it wanted AIG to explain the whole truth, in detail, revealing every dark corner of the company's interaction with the SEC. What, are they crazy? What do they think a press release is for? It's for getting information out that's true, if not necessarily exhaustive in its ugliness -- sort of like the wedding announcements page in your local newspaper. We'd hate to see the SEC in charge of that. On the other hand, we note that in its defense of the 2002 press release, AIG seems to argue that the three PNC transactions -- which AIG calls C-GAITS -- are, like, totally, completely different from the other five transactions, known as GAITS. Hmmm. In deciding that question, we think it would help to know what C-GAITS and GAITS stand for. But an AIG spokesman won't tell us, or anyone else.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV