What Does Senator Bunning Know, And, More Relevantly, What Does The Just Disclosed Fed Whistleblower Know?
First, watch the below video. Note Senator Bunning's agreement with Zero Hedge on who the proposed head of the Fed should be (i.e., John Taylor). But that's irrelevant. What is - at 5:40 Bunning says that "Geithner will be fired by the President for his inability to handle his job as Secretary of the Treasury." True. What is even more relevant, and hints at a potential smoking gun, begins at 8:00 "[Bernanke's] staff did not agree with him [on bailing out AIG]...I am talking about an email that he sent his staff, after his staff recommended that the Federal Reserve not touch AIG, just like Lehman Brothers."
Ok fine, so Bernanke steamrolled opposition: that's nothing new - whoever thought the Fed is any more democratic than the country it is supposed to serve, surely is naive. Here is HuffPo's Ryan Grim on the matter:
A Republican senator said Tuesday that documents showing Federal
Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernake covered up the fact that his staff
recommended he not bailout AIG are being kept from the public. And a
House Republican charged that a whistleblower had alerted Congress to
specific documents provide "troubling details" of Bernanke's role in
the AIG bailout.
Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), a Bernanke critic, said on CNBC that he
has seen documents showing that Bernanke overruled such a
recommendation. If that's the case, it raises questions about whether
bailing out AIG was actually necessary, and what Bernanke's motives
And as we type, Harry Reid has noted that he wants to get a reconfirmation vote on Bernanke on Thursday - presumably before all the rot that will soon be uncovered about yet another Bernanke fiasco is made public. Hopefully the man who owns roughly $3 million in commercial real estate and is thus a direct beneficiary of a Bernanke reconfirmation, has done his math on senatorial support. A key question however is: shouldn't the debt ceiling issue be resolved first - after all the fact that our national debt "ceiling" is nothing but a joke these days, is a direct consequence of Fed policies to pile bail out upon bail out. It also leaves the question open of what additional information has to still be presented. Back to HuffPo:
Senators will be voting on Bernanke's confirmation for a second term in
the coming days. But only senators on the Banking Committee have had
access to documents that illuminate just what decisions he made and how
he made them. And that access only came after Bunning publicly
complained that Dodd and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) were the only
members of the committee could see them.
Darrell Issa identifies the specific documents that need to be disclosed (see below) and has requested from Edolphus Towns that these be made public, as the "Board's staff did not return calls" in an attempt to procure these documents directly.
The take home message: the Fed has finally produced a whistleblower. Could this be the catalytic event that brings the house of cards down.
One only wonders at this point how deep the rabbit hole runs: if one declassified document confirms that recent testimonies by various bankers and Head of Treasury Departments may have bordered on perjury, one can only imagine the impact of not only the 250,000 pages of AIG docs already in Commission possession are released for crowdsourced analysis, but also what would happen if there is finally disclosure around the second bailout of AIG in February of 2009, which as we have repeatedly noted, was an even closer call for AIG bankruptcy than before. Oddly, with Goldman having no more risk exposure to AIG whatsoever then, courtesy of ML III, the insurer was still not allowed to fail. The question remains - why?