I hate to rant, but it's amazing that an insurance company, an entity charged with protecting others from the consequences of catastrophe, put itself in a position in which a mere downgrade could put it out of business:
The big insurance company, the American International Group, was seeking a $40 billion bridge loan Sunday night from the Federal Reserve, as it faces a potential downgrade from credit ratings agencies that could spell its doom, a person briefed on the matter said.
Ratings agencies threatened to downgrade the insurance giant’s credit rating by Monday morning, allowing counterparties to withdraw capital from their contracts with the company. One person close to the firm said that if such an event occurred, A.I.G. may survive for only 48 hours to 72 hours.
Coming soon: Why I bought AIG stock and lost a lot of money--and why I sold it in time to avoid losing a lot more money.