(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
I have always hated Darrell Issa. I live in California and Darrell Issa is largely the reason that we now have Arnold “will my term ever end?” Schwarzenegger in the governor’s hot tub. He’s also, quite simply, a scumbag.
But remiscent of the Bush years, when I found myself agreeing more with Pat “I’m also a scumbag” Buchanan, than I did with most “mainstream” Democrats like, well, almost all of them, I now want to pat Scumbag Issa on the back.
Because he’s come out with this:
The controversy surrounding Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s role in the 2008 Wall Street bailouts was ramped up Thursday with the revelation of emails that show the New York Federal Reserve — then run by Geithner — pressured insurance giant AIG to withhold information about payments the company made to its creditors.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) obtained emails between AIG employees showing that the company had planned to disclose in its filings to the SEC that it had paid 100 cents on the dollar to creditors like Goldman Sachs and other banks, but “the New York Fed crossed out the reference,” Bloomberg News reports.
AIG has received $183 billion in taxpayer relief. The news that the New York Fed attempted to keep from the public how that money was spent will likely increase political opposition to Geithner’s appointment as Treasury Secretary.
Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then led by Timothy Geithner, told American International Group Inc. to withhold details from the public about the bailed-out insurer’s payments to banks during the depths of the financial crisis, e-mails between the company and its regulator show.
AIG said in a draft of a regulatory filing that the insurer paid banks, which included Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Societe Generale SA, 100 cents on the dollar for credit-default swaps they bought from the firm. The New York Fed crossed out the reference, according to the e-mails, and AIG excluded the language when the filing was made public on Dec. 24, 2008. The e-mails were obtained by Representative Darrell Issa, ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The New York Fed took over negotiations between AIG and the banks in November 2008 as losses on the swaps, which were contracts tied to subprime home loans, threatened to swamp the insurer weeks after its taxpayer-funded rescue. The regulator decided that Goldman Sachs and more than a dozen banks would be fully repaid for $62.1 billion of the swaps, prompting lawmakers to call the AIG rescue a “backdoor bailout” of financial firms.
“It appears that the New York Fed deliberately pressured AIG to restrict and delay the disclosure of important information,” said Issa, a California Republican. Taxpayers “deserve full and complete disclosure under our nation’s securities laws, not the withholding of politically inconvenient information.”
Will this become a mainstream story? Well, you’d think so, wouldn’t you? After all, it paints a “Democrat” in a negative light, and it’s being pushed by a Republican.
But we’re talking about Banksters here, and they don’t play by the rules. They run the place.
All these people need to be in jail.
Just got the late-night Alternet e-mail which shows the new stories from them. Elliot Spitzer’s on the case now, with William K. Black and Frank Partnoy, here:
In a December New York Times op-ed, we called for the full public release of AIG email messages, internal accounting documents and financial models generated in the last decade. This Thursday, a Bloomberg story revealed that under Timothy Geithner’s leadership, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York told AIG to withhold details from the public about its payments to banks during the crisis. This information was discovered when emails between the company and the Fed were requested by representative Darrell Issa, ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The emails requested by Issa span five months beginning in November 2008. If five months of emails reveal information key to our understanding of the aftermath of the crisis, imagine what 10 years of emails could contribute to our understanding of its causes. We believe the AIG emails and other internal company documents are the ‘black box’ of the financial crisis. If we understand the failure of AIG, we will more fully understand the crisis — what caused it and more importantly how to prevent it from happening again.
The emails today detail the efforts of the Fed to suppress the disclosure of payments made to banks such as Goldman, Sachs Group for reimbursement of their credit-default swap exposure. When the Treasury Department stepped in, AIG had at least $440 billion in credit-default swaps outstanding. The Fed, led by Tim Geithner, paid Goldman, Sachs Group and other banks 100 cents on the dollar for these instruments rather than negotiating a lower rate closer to the actual value, (estimated by some to have been as little as 20 cents). In testimony to the Congressional Oversight Panel, Tim Geithner insisted it was necessary to make these payments in full, arguing that even a small downward negotiation would prove catastrophic to the financial sector. Elizabeth Warren, head of the oversight panel has repeatedly challenged repeatedly this assertion.
Will Geithner get sacked? Will he get charged with anything? Or will he skate, like we fully expect?
I figure he’ll skate. These days, all the Big Criminals skate.