Neil Barofski's AIG Counterparty Payment Report Released; Demands Federal Reserve Transparency
The full SIGTARP report on AIG and its counterparty payments has been released. It contains all you need to know about the NYFED's bailout of Goldman Sachs. We are currently going through the report, and will post our findings as we have them.
Key timeline events:
AIG's collateral postings:
Total taxpayer subsidies:
Historical and current AIG CDS exposure:
And the most critical conclusion presented by Neil Barofsky: The SIGTARP blasts the Fed's ongoing desire to keep everything hidden and under a layer of opacity, as it keeps on lying to taxpayers that all is fine with the US economy, and urges investors to part with their hard-earned dollars and "invest" in toxic husks of zombie companies, when it knows full well that the entire financial system is constantly on the cusp of yet another collapse, and the market ponzi scheme could collapse at any minute.
The now familiar argument from Government officials about the dire consequences of basic transparency, as advocated by the Federal Reserve in connection with Maiden Lane III once again simply does not withstand scrutiny. Federal Reserve officials initially refused to disclose the identities of the counterparties or the details of the payments, warning that disclosure of the names would undermine AIG's stability, the privacy and business interests of the counterparties, and the stability of the markets. After public and Congressional pressure, AIG disclosed the identities. Notwithstanding the Federal Reserve warnings, the sky did not fall; there is no indication that AIG's disclosure undermined the stability of AIG or the market or damaged legitimate interested of the counterparties. The lesson that should be learned - one that has been made apparent time after time in the Government's response to the financial crisis - is that the default position, whenever Government funds are deployed in a crisis to support markets or institutions, should be that the public is entitled to know what is being done with Government funds. While SIGTARP acknowledges that there might be circumstances in which the public's right to know what its Government is doing should be circumscribed, those instances should be very few and very far between.
Audit the Fed already.