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Forum Post: A 25 Billion Dollar Secret: The NY Fed, Goldman & The AIG Cover-Up

Posted 12 years ago on Oct. 25, 2011, 4:36 p.m. EST by MonetizingDiscontent (1257)
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A 25 Billion Dollar Secret: The NY Fed, Goldman & The AIG Cover-Up

How The FRBNY's President Tim Geithner And Chairman Stephen Friedman Demanded Par For Goldman Sachs And The Rest Of Wall Street And Then Tried To Cover It All Up...


Why did the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY), whose Chairman was Stephen Friedman (a Goldman Sachs board member who resigned from the New York Fed earlier this year when it was revealed that he had made $5 million... http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124139546243981801.html ...by purchasing shares in GS with the knowledge that AIG would be paying counterparties at par and that Goldman would be getting a $13 billion windfall -- when no one else had this information) and whose President was none other than current Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, why did this New York Fed choose to pay AIG's counterparties 100 cents on the dollar when AIG itself had been negotiating for steep haircuts with claimants, AND why did they then pressure AIG executives to keep quiet about the decision... http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a7T5HaOgYHpE ...even discouraging AIG from disclosing the 'par-payments' to its shareholders in required SEC filings?

We'll leave the decision itself (which was fraudulent, borderline criminal, and the reasoning given - a complete joke), for another post and focus on the cover-up. Certainly it riled up Congressman Darrell Issa who fired off an angry letter last Friday... http://republicans.oversight.house.gov/images/stories/Letters/20091030letter%20to%20frbny.pdf ...to AIG management and the New York Fed, demanding the following from both:

(1) Emails, phone logs and meeting notes of the following people: Timothy Geithner, Stephen Friedman, Tom Baxter, and Sarah Dahlgren;

(2) Term sheets, including drafts, relating to AIG’s payments to its CDS counterparties;

(3) Emails, phone logs and meeting notes referring or relating to public disclosure of AIG’s payments to its CDS counterparties including disclosure to the SEC.

Issa continues in his letter: http://republicans.oversight.house.gov/images/stories/Letters/20091030letter%20to%20frbny.pdf

It is also disturbing that, at the time this secret deal was made, FRBNY Chairman Stephen Friedman, a member of the board of Goldman Sachs, purchased more than 50,000 shares of Goldman Sachs before knowledge of the FRBNY’s bailout of Goldman Sachs and other AIG counterparties became public knowledge. According to news reports, this transaction has earned Mr. Friedman over $5 million in profit.

Finally, according to one AIG executive quoted in news reports, the FRBNY may have attempted to manage public disclosure of its decision to pay AIG’s counterparties at par by pressuring the company not to file pertinent documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”):

They’d tell us that they don’t think that this or that should be disclosed. They’d say, “Don’t you think your counterparties will be concerned?” It was much more about protecting the Fed.

These allegations raise serious questions about the transparency, accountability and wisdom of the FRBNY’s actions. The American people have a right to know the full details behind the FRBNY’s decision to stop negotiations with AIG’s counterparties and pay them billions of dollars of taxpayer money.

Now we know: Geithner and Friedman interceded on behalf of Goldman and Wall Street (Merrill received $6.2 billion, Societe General - a whopping $16.5 billion) to deliver a stealth bailout, one that wouldn't need Congressional approval, and even better wouldn't require the counterparties to pay any of it back NOR would it require that they issue shares, warrants or any other instrument to AIG (taxpayers) in return for more than $32 billion in free money.

As example, Lehman counterparties got 11 cents. AIG creditors in bankruptcy court might have gotten 25 cents, if they were lucky given the state of the asset markets at the time. AIG itself was negotiating for 50 cents, but your friend and steward of your currency, Treasury Secretary Turbo-Tax, and his boss Stephen Friedman thought 100 would be the best number for everyone involved, leading to a windfall for AIG counterparties of at least $16 billion. In real terms, anything over 25 cents was a gift and thus the real giveaway was somewhere in the range of $25 billion, notwithstanding the author's calculations. And if that weren't enough, then Geithner and Friedman succeeded in covering up their secret for 9 months, until Bloomberg through dogged effort and FOIA determination finally got the scoop. Read the following passage from Bloomberg carefully:

New York Fed’s Secret Choice to Pay for Swaps Hits Taxpayers http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a7T5HaOgYHpE

Read the rest of this article at:




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