Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bloomberg Continues to Lead on the Fed and AIG

Thank goodness, some news! As we said in this morning's "Unwanted Side Effect: Cocaine Vaccine Leads Addicts to Take 10 Times More Cocaine":
We're long FAS as the market dawdles. Kind of a weird news day.
The FAS is up 6.11% but other than the financials, not much popping.
From the Columbia Journalism Review's The Audit blog:

Bloomberg has the story of the day today, an eye-raising scoop that the New York Federal Reserve, then headed by now-Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, told AIG to conceal critical details of its bailout from the public.

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.

Even worse, the Federal Reserve was telling a public company to cross the SEC....

...Also, recall that Bloomberg reported in October—this is the story that piqued Congressman Issa that the Fed paid 100 percent to Goldman et al for the swaps, cutting off an effort by AIG itself to give their counterparties a haircut. Bloomberg reported then that the Fed’s decision cost taxpayers at least $13 billion.

And that’s not all:

As part of a bailout that swelled to $182.3 billion, AIG and the Fed created Maiden Lane III, a taxpayer-funded facility designed to remove mortgage-linked swaps from the insurer’s books. Shannon told the New York Fed on Nov. 24, 2008, that AIG executives wanted to publicly disclose details about Maiden Lane the next day.

“Do you think it might be feasible to hold off on the Maiden Lane III 8K and press release until next week?” Brett Phillips, a New York Fed lawyer wrote in an e-mail that day. “The thinking is that the Maiden Lane III closing will be a less transparent event, and it might be better to narrow the gap between AIG’s announcement and the New York Fed’s publication of term sheet summaries.”>>>MORE