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  • cohsgrad cohsgrad Aug 5, 2012 8:57 PM Flag

    NY Court Ruling good news

    Boy you sure don't know much about AGO. They instituted a quality audit system long ago and largely avoided litigation which allowed them to settle on very favorable terms with most (not all) firms.

    Reflected very well on AGO management. Of course, if the MUNI bond market goes in the crapper it doesn't really matter how well AGO handled structured finance. Maybe they ought to do like MBIA did, pay a huge dividend and put the thing into runoff?

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    • Well I never quantified the magnitude of the news. But you have to admit it was indeed good news. I agree its not that big of a deal given the past "quality control" of management. They were indeed the best run monoline. But still this is positive for settlement of the remaining outstanding lawsuits against JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM), Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX) and Flagstar Bancorp Inc (FBC).

      I think these developments will make it slightly less likely that Moody's will further downgrade right now because it is helping further limit possible liabilities from the legacy structured finance commitments.

      But couldn't agree with you more regarding systemic risk in the municipal bond market. If some actual large city has to file BK and it spirals all bets are off. There was a piece in the LA Times about how Los Angeles' fire and police pension obligations going way up.,0,2849012.story

      I think in the midterm this might be a great stock and given its book value it could easily double or triple in the next couple of years. But in the long term one will have to be extremely vigilant to see how the court cases play out (since there seems to be a trend towards cities attempting to fully protect pensions over bondholders) and then also the fiscal situation of all these municipalities.

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