Danny Walkinshaw explores the week on the web.
It was all eyes on AIG again last week. Readers all over the world logged on to websites, including Insurancetimes.co.uk, to discover the latest twists in a saga that began two months ago and shows no sign of ending soon.
At Insurancetimes.co.uk, exclusive online analyses – now available free to net visitors – dominated web traffic last week. “Towergate: results uncovered” broke records for hits on an online analysis. The article took a closer look at the company’s 2007 accounts and asked what they reveal about the performance of the business. It was easily the most read story of the week.
Next, naturally enough, came two stories about AIG. First was the news that the stricken giant had almost sealed the deal to sell some of its US assets, including its personal lines business.
Then another bombshell hit: the US government was stepping in again to stop AIG going bankrupt. The federal loan increased to $150bn (£101bn), up from about $123bn. The US Treasury Department also spent $40bn on an equity stake in AIG and swapped the original two-year bridge loan for a new $60bn loan at a lower rate.
LATimes.com wrote: “The need to restructure the AIG bail-out after less than two months demonstrates the difficulties of such rescue operations in relieving a continuing credit crunch.” It added that the rescue might ease strain on the insurer, but could also increase the demand from other companies for a slice of the $700bn package for the financial services industry.
Another online analysis about the insurer, “Slippery times for AIG, not just with debts”, also made the most read list.
The most read stories this week on Insurancetimes.co.uk
1. Towergate: results uncovered
The business continues to grow, but the debts are a drag.
2. AIG 'close' to asset sales
Insurer expected to complete sale of US personal lines business "soon".
3. AIG gets second bail-out
US insurer to get further $27bn, according to reports.
4. Chancellor forms insurance industry strategy group
Aviva chief Andrew Moss to co-chair Treasury panel.
5. Slippery times for AIG, not just with debts
Stricken insurer faces yet more problems.