ANDREW SORKIN: And part of the thing that’s so interesting about them is they really were thinking ahead. It’s remarkable, at least to me, a board meeting in
Moscow in June -- not in September, in June -- where they are talking...
CHARLIE ROSE: Goldman Sachs.
ANDREW SORKIN: A Goldman Sachs board meeting where they were talking about whether they need to become a bank holding company. Do they need deposits?
At one point they talk about whether they should buy -- are you ready for this -- AIG for the deposits, because they’re thinking if the future keeps going this direction where you need deposits and you need to be the equivalent of a bank holding company, maybe we should buy a company like that. Obviously it doesn’t go anywhere.
CHARLIE ROSE: Is there anything wrong with the fact that when AIG got all that TARP money they had to -- they paid out about $12, $13 billion to Goldman Sachs as a counterpart.
ANDREW SORKIN: I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time asking that question and tracing those two days. And I hope when you read it you really get to feel like you’re there and understand and appreciate what was going on.
And just to give it a little perspective, it really had happened now 24 hours after Lehman and Merrill had gone down, or Merrill had been sold to Bank of America.
The decision to give AIG $85 billion happened in the course of -- the first meeting was 8:00 a.m. Tuesday morning and by noon they decided to do it.
CHARLIE ROSE: Why did they do it?
ANDREW SORKIN: I think they saw the world was about to fall off of its axis. And, in fact, probably -- we were really quite close. And that would have been a very difficult decision.
Now, what they didn’t do was sit around the table, the conversation that we’ve had since then and say "Do you really need to pay out the full amounts to these banks? Could we give them a hair cut?"
CHARLIE ROSE: It was what, $40, $50 million?
ANDREW SORKIN: An extraordinary amount of money to banks throughout the world. And what if we’d gone into restructuring and said we’re not going to give you all this money? They didn’t have time to do that. They never really thought through that process. That never came up.
I mean, the funny and sad part about this entire book is many of the conversations -- the time, the amount of time that they are talking and thinking about these issues are much shorter than the amount of time we’ve been sitting and talking around this table now.
CHARLIE ROSE: How do you explain? Because they didn’t have time?
ANDREW SORKIN: There was no time. They were moving from meeting to meeting. They were running. They were racing. It really is -- it’s not a marathon, it’s a sprint. And they’re running out of their minds.