The Treasury’s chief watchdog for the U.S. financial rescue program is probing whether American International Group Inc. paid more than necessary to banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. after the insurer’s bailout.
Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, began an audit last week into whether there were attempts by New York-based AIG or the government to reduce the payments, according to an April 3 letter to Representative Elijah Cummings. The Maryland Democrat requested the probe last month along with 26 other members of Congress.
Lawmakers, frustrated with the cost of an AIG bailout that has expanded three times, have asked why about $50 billion was paid after the initial September rescue to banks that bought credit-default swaps from the firm. The audit will reveal who made “critical decisions” regarding the payments and provide an explanation for the actions, Barofsky said.
“To what extent did AIG pay counterparty claims at 100 percent of face value and was any attempt made to renegotiate and close out these claims with ‘haircuts?’” Barofsky wrote. “Questions concerning whether AIG paid more than necessary to counterparties and whether Treasury adequately monitored such payments are clearly relevant.”
AIG, under pressure to show how its $182.5 billion U.S. bailout was being spent, revealed on March 15 that banks including Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank AG and Societe Generale SA were top recipients.
Barofsky will also examine if there was any review about the ability of banks “such as Goldman Sachs” to sustain losses on the swaps, he said in the letter....MORE
Lawyers for Goldman Sachs are threatening a federal lawsuit against a blog that is critical of the investment bank.
The website "Facts About Goldman Sachs" states that it is an "open forum for facts and discussion about what part Goldman Sachs and their executives played in the current Global Economic Crisis." It is, as you can imagine, extremely critical of the investment bank. Now lawyers from the law firm Chadbourne & Parke have sent a letter to the proprietor, Mike Morgan, claiming that the website's URL, goldmansachs666.com, infringes on the investment bank's trademark.
"Your use of the mark GOLDMAN SACHS violates several of Goldman Sachs' intellectual property rights, constitutes an act of trademark infringement, unfair competition and implies a relationship and misrepresents commercial activity and/or an affiliation between you and Goldman Sachs which does not exist and additionally creates confusion in the marketplace," Goldman's lawyer writes. (The full letter is below.)...MORE