2010年1月20日水曜日

ガイトナー AIG救済で隠蔽工作か

ガイトナーが、AIG救済で隠蔽工作をした可能性があるようだ。
 ガイトナー米財務長官が、ニューヨーク連銀総裁時代に携わったAIGの
救済で、巨額の公的資金が、取引相手への支払いに流用された上に、
同連銀が支払いの詳細を開示しないようAIGに圧力をかけた疑惑が浮上
している。

FRB
↓  総額1800億ドルの緊急融資
AIG
↓↑ デリバティブ買取
Societe Generale (France)
Goldman Sachs (GS)
Merrill Lynch International
Deutsche Bank (Germany)
Calyon, Credit Agricole (France)
UBS (Switzerland)
Barclays (England)
Coral Purchasing, DZ Bank (Germany)
Bank of Montreal (Canada)
Rabobank (the Netherlands)
Royal Bank of Scotland
Bank of America
Wachovia
HSBC (England)
Barclays Global Investors

Email
・FRB側は、金融機関への支払いの詳細を、SEC向けの開示文書から削除
 するよう圧力をかけた。後日、AIGから開示。

ガイトナー
「(『AIGへの介入は、GS等取引相手を救済するつもりだった』という指摘
に対して)私はそういうメモを見ていないし、判断にも関与していない」
と否定。

米国は額こそ違うが、当時の日本と同じような状況だったようだ。
公的支援をしても、金融機関はもらえば好き勝手に使う。
結果的に、破産や吸収合併された金融機関もあり、税金を使った公的支援
の意図が問われる。支援をしなければ、もっと早く悪い景気となったと
言われるが、資本主義原理派が多い米国であれば、主義を通すべきだった
と思う。
米国の景気が良くなってきたと意われるが、失業率は10%を超えており、
新自由主義から転換されていない。米議員には、新自由主義の恩恵を受け
ない人はいないのだろう。

AIG資金提供リスト
AIG賞与 官僚が支払いに合意


Timothy Geithners cover-up of the AIG bailout


Timothy Geithner / AIG Scandal - Coverup in Progress?

---AIG情報隠蔽疑惑で米財務長官が窮地に 公聴会で証言へ---
2010.1.18 17:30
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/finance/100118/fnc1001181730017-n1.htm

 【ワシントン=渡辺浩生】ガイトナー米財務長官が2008年秋、ニューヨーク連銀総裁時代に携わったアメリカン・インターナショナル・グループ(AIG)の救済をめぐり、議会から激しい追及を受けている。巨額の公的資金が、取引相手への支払いに流用された上に、同連銀が支払いの詳細を開示しないようAIGに圧力をかけた疑惑が浮上しているためだ。長官は今月末に開催される下院の公聴会で、説明を求められている。
 08年9月、連邦準備制度理事会(FRB)は、経営危機に陥ったAIGに対し、総額1800億ドルの緊急融資を実施した。AIGはこの資金を使って、米金融大手ゴールドマン・サックスや仏銀ソシエテ・ジェネラルなどの主要取引金融機関から、デリバティブ(金融派生商品)を額面通り全額買い取っていた。
 この支援をめぐり、イサ下院議員(共和)は今月、ニューヨーク連銀の顧問弁護士とAIG幹部が当時交わした電子メールの内容を公表した。それによると、連銀側は、金融機関への支払いの詳細を、証券取引委員会(SEC)向けの開示文書から削除するよう圧力をかけていたという。最終的に支払いの詳細はAIGから公表された。
 下院監査政府改革委員会のタウンズ委員長(民主)は今月27日の公聴会にガイトナー長官を証人として呼び、取引先への支払いをめぐる情報隠蔽(いんぺい)圧力への関与についてただすとしている。当時のポールソン財務長官も呼ばれている。
 AIGは昨年、デリバティブを担当していた幹部に高額賞与を支払っていたことも発覚し、「救済から1年以上が経過しても、米国民は税金の使途に疑問を持ち続けている」(タウンズ委員長)という声がやまない。
 ガイトナー長官には、「AIGへの介入は、(ゴールドマンなど)取引相手を救済するつもりだった」(米紙ウォールストリート・ジャーナル)という指摘も上り、雇用情勢が好転しない国民のいらだちを背景に、党派を超えた批判が集中。一部には「辞任」を求める声もある。
 ガイトナー長官はCNBCテレビとのインタビューで、「私はそういうメモを見ていないし、判断にも関与していない」と否定。ホワイトハウスも「オバマ大統領は長官に全幅の信頼を置いている」(ギブズ大統領報道官)と擁護に躍起になっている。


---Scrutiny of AIG Aid Stirs Anger at Federal Reserve---
JANUARY 19, 2010
By SUDEEP REDDY
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704381604575005563326084220.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

WASHINGTON-Continuing congressional scrutiny of the American International Group Inc. saga is provoking further backlash against the Federal Reserve as lawmakers ponder diluting the Fed's oversight of banks and weigh Ben Bernanke's confirmation for a second term as Fed chairman.

No issue in the Federal Reserve's financial rescue has drawn as much blowback from lawmakers and the public as the September 2008 move to keep AIG out of bankruptcy with what eventually amounted to more than $180 billion in government aid.

From explaining bonuses paid to its executives to defending accusations that the Fed kept embarrassing details of the rescue from the public, AIG remains a persistent problem for Mr. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York at the time.

In the latest turn, Edolphus Towns (D., N.Y.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has subpoenaed New York Fed documents to shed light on the Fed's role in recommending that AIG withhold names of trading partners that received tens of billions of dollars from the government-backed insurer. Mr. Geithner has been summoned to testify on the issue Jan. 27, along with former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, New York Fed General Counsel Thomas Baxter and Stephen Friedman, a Goldman Sachs director and former New York Fed board chairman.

"The AIG debate and how the disclosure of counterparties was handled is just going to fuel the flames in Congress to have more oversight and more ability to control the Fed," said Brian Gardner, a Washington analyst at the investment firm Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.

The fixation on AIG is bipartisan. "This committee's investigation will not be complete until we gain the perspective of all of the most senior government officials responsible for the AIG bailout," Rep. Darrell Issa, top Republican on the House panel, wrote to the committee chairman Friday. Mr. Issa called for Mr. Bernanke to answer questions in writing, and for documents at the Federal Reserve Board and Treasury to be subpoenaed.

The renewed attention on AIG comes with the Fed already in Congress's crosshairs. The Senate, which returns to work Tuesday, is expected to vote in the next two weeks on confirming Mr. Bernanke for a second four-year term; his current term as chairman expires Jan. 31.

Although confirmation is expected, the substantial opposition reflected in Mr. Bernanke's 16-7 backing from the Senate Banking Committee underscored the political challenges the Fed faces. The same Senate committee is working on a proposal to revamp the financial regulatory structure amid substantial interest in curtailing the Fed's role as bank supervisor and consumer regulator because of its failure to head off the financial crisis. The Obama administration sides with the Fed, but Mr. Geithner's ability to influence the Senate on the issue is weakened by his past as a Fed official.

In Congress, members cite AIG regularly to complain about the Fed's authority and disclosure. Some lawmakers also want to force the Fed to disclose the names of banks to which it lends.

Activists on the left and right are using AIG to bolster support for a House-passed bill to allow broader congressional audits of Fed monetary policy, which Mr. Bernanke strongly opposes.

Last March, Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn took heat at a Senate hearing about the Fed's refusal to disclose the counterparties that had been paid off fully after the Fed's rescue. Fed officials feared disclosure would undermine AIG's business-by making other firms reluctant to work with the company-and weaken AIG's trading partners further.

Days after the hearing, AIG released details after the Fed signed off. The list showed Goldman Sachs, Societe Generale and 14 other counterparties were paid in full on $62.1 billion of bets on soured mortgage securities, more than banks would have received had AIG filed for bankruptcy. The special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program later found that the Fed sought to reduce the payoffs to those firms but was rebuffed. Fed officials maintain they had no leverage over the counterparties.

Mr. Bernanke, in his confirmation hearing last month, acknowledged that the Fed's rescue of AIG-while necessary in his view-was continuing to trouble the institution.

"Some of the steps we've taken, like the AIG episode for example, obviously have hurt the Fed a lot politically," he said. "We know that. We did it and I think that should just be proof that we did it for the good of the country. We didn't do it for ourselves because it obviously has hurt the Federal Reserve in the public's view. We did it because we felt that there was no other way to avoid what a number of your colleagues have called the risk of a catastrophic collapse of the financial system."


---New emails show AIG mulled bank payment disclosures---
David Lawder and Mark Felsenthal
WASHINGTON
Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:01pm EST
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60G0BV20100117

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The New York Federal Reserve Bank actively worked with bailed out insurer AIG to build a case against disclosing details of AIG's payments to banks just days after the insurer considered making them public, documents released late on Saturday showed.

Lawyers for the Fed bank, which had taken over a pool of AIG assets as part of a $180 billion government bailout of the insurer in 2008, advised that AIG maintain a "confidential treatment request" from the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to emails provided by Rep. Darrell Issa, a U.S. lawmaker probing the matter.

A separate batch of emails made public earlier this month showed that New York Fed had advised AIG not to disclose the payments in a securities filing in late 2008.

The email traffic has raised questions about the role of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who ran the New York Fed at the time of the AIG bailout and the insurer's payment of some $62.1 billion to banks to liquidate credit default swaps it had sold to them.

Geithner is among those due to testify on the AIG payments and efforts to limit public disclosures about them at a January 27 hearing of theHouse of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson also has been asked to appear before the panel.

Geithner has said Fed officials had no choice but to allow AIG to pay the banks in full, but has denied any involvement in discussions to suppress disclosures. He recused himself from matters involving AIG after being nominated for Treasury Secretary in November 2008.

CONFIDENTIALITY WITHDRAWAL LETTER

The latest emails show a proposed letter to the SEC requesting the withdrawal of the confidential treatment request around March 10, 2009, after some information on payments was reported by media, but the letter was never sent to the SEC.

Instead of withdrawing the confidentiality request, the emails show further exchanges between New York Fed and AIG lawyers, that led to the insurer days later submitting a new confidentiality request. A draft of the request shows AIG asked the SEC to keep secret details about specific securities, their notional values, collateral posted against them and mark-downs in their market values.

AIG argued in the request that the assets held in a New York Fed investment vehicle called Maiden Lane III that was managed by BlackRock Inc could lose value if the information was disclosed.

"If market participants acquired information as to the composition of ML III's securities portfolio or if the prices paid by ML III were known to market participants, BlackRock's efforts to effectively manage ML III's portfolio of securities would be seriously undermined," AIG said in the confidentiality request.

By this time, AIG had already been under some pressure by the SEC to disclose the counterparty payments, and on March 15, the company disclosed gross sums paid to individual banks, including posted collateral and direct payments totaling $62.1 billion, for 100 cents on the dollar -- a disclosure that stoked public rage about the AIG bailout.

Societe Generale received $16.5 billion, Goldman Sachs received $14 billion and Deutsche Bank received $8.5 billion in what has been labeled a "backdoor bailout" for top banks.

Issa, a California Republican, said the latest emails show that the Fed had a much more direct role than previously thought in determining what to disclose and what to keep confidential regarding the payments.

"The underlying question that must be answered is why all the secrecy?" Issa said in a statement. "The ultimate goal of this investigation is to get the complete picture of who played what role in crafting the counterparty deal and keeping it out of public light in an effort to delay inevitable scrutiny."

The New York Fed has said its focus in AIG disclosures has been "ensuring accuracy and protecting taxpayers interests during a time of severe economic distress."

PAULSON, FRIEDMAN TESTIMONY SOUGHT

Issa is the top Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, whose chairman, Democrat Edolphus Towns, has asked former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to testify on January 27.

Towns, from New York, also has invited Stephen Friedman, the former board chairman of the New York Fed who now sits on Goldman Sachs' board of directors, was also added to the list of invited witnesses.

Spokesmen for Paulson and Friedman were not immediately available for comment on Saturday.

Along with Geithner, Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program; Elias Habayeb, former chief financial officer of AIG Financial Services Group; and Thomas Baxter, general counsel for the New York Fed, have been confirmed to testify.

(Additional reporting by Jasmin Melvin)


---Revealed: 15 AIG bailout counterparties---
By Carol J. Loomis, senior editor at large
Last Updated: March 9, 2009: 10:55 AM ET
http://money.cnn.com/2009/03/07/news/companies/aig.fortune/index.htm

A list obtained by Fortune includes the names of many foreign banks - as well as U.S. giants such as Goldman Sachs.

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Donald Kohn, vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, learned this week about blackmail, Senate style, when he refused to disclose the names of financial institutions benefiting from the bailout of American International Group.

Testifying about AIG (AIG, Fortune 500) before the Senate Banking committee, Kohn respectfully resisted all of its attempts to extract the names. Several committee members grew frustrated and finally got to the point of threatening Kohn with no more dollars for the credit crisis - ever - if he didn't spill the information.

Said Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., "You will get the biggest 'no' you ever got. I will do anything possible to stop you from wasting the taxpayers' money on a lost cause."
0:00 /03:22Greenberg vs. AIG Round 8

Why so much fuss over these names? While the government has maintained that saving AIG was necessary to prevent an even wider catastrophe, senators contend the move has also bailed out counterparties who took unwise risks, so the legislators want to know who those companies are.

While The Wall Street Journal Saturday reported many of the names of the 25 counterparties involved, FORTUNE has independently obtained a somewhat different group of 15 names, listed in an intriguing order (see below).

The information that riled the Senate committee this week concerns about $80 billion of credit default swaps - contracts that insure investors against losing principal and interest - that AIG wrote on super-senior tranches of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) that were backed by mortgage securities, some of them subprime. (See The Company that Came to Dinner, FORTUNE, Jan. 19).

When AIG suffered rating downgrades, the resulting collateral calls on the credit default swaps proved ultimately to be much more than AIG could handle and became the main reason the company was bailed out - with government commitments that now exceed $150 billion.

The counterparties to the swaps were 25 financial institutions spread around the world. Many of them would have been vulnerable to a domino effect if they hadn't received, first, the collateral AIG paid them and, later, billions of dollars from the U.S. government that made the counterparties whole.

In this whole disaster that began to play out last September, neither AIG nor the government has ever divulged the names of the counterparties - and that's what infuriates Bunning and other senators.

Committee chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., describes the counterparties as less than "innocent victims" who used AIG's rating (then AAA) to take "enormous, irresponsible risks." He complains, "It is not clear who we are rescuing."

The Fed's Kohn argued that he couldn't give out the names because the counterparties had entered into contracts with AIG not expecting their identity ever to be disclosed. Naming them, he said, might deter them from doing business with AIG again.

In the end, however, Kohn said he would carry the committee's request back to the Fed and see what might be worked out.

A reliable source, however, has given FORTUNE a list of 15 counterparties, with no dollar figures attached. The list contained the names in the following order. FORTUNE sought comment from all of the financial institutions and none said their inclusion on the list was inaccurate.

Societe Generale (France)

Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500)

Merrill Lynch International

Deutsche Bank (Germany)

Calyon, Credit Agricole (France)

UBS (Switzerland)

Barclays (England)

Coral Purchasing, DZ Bank (Germany)

Bank of Montreal (Canada)

Rabobank (the Netherlands)

Royal Bank of Scotland

Bank of America

Wachovia

HSBC (England)

Barclays Global Investors

What is the significance of the rank order of the list? Since it is not alphabetical, one possible interpretation is that the banks are listed in order of the amount of CDOs they insured with AIG.

Goldman Sachs' No. 2 position fits several press reports that it was an important counterparty, perhaps having insured $20 billion of CDOs with AIG. Goldman has never confirmed that figure, but it has said that its "net" exposure to AIG - after collateral it received and hedging it did - was minimal.

If indeed France's Societe Generale ranks No. 1 by exposure, it's a distinction the bank certainly didn't need. Early last year, the company was staggered by the news that a rogue trader had lost $7.5 billion. Had a domino effect ensued from AIG's collapse, Societe Generale would have been in an especially vulnerable position.

The Fed's Kohn admitted in the Senate hearings that paying off these counterparties in the course of the AIG rescue "will reduce their incentive to be careful in the future," which helps explain why the names have become such sought-after information in the political debate over "moral hazard."

A transcript of Thursday's hearings that was done by Congressional Quarterly contains a typo that nicely describes the whole disastrous mess that AIG has turned out to be for U.S. taxpayers. The speaker was New York superintendent of insurance Eric Dinallo, and what he said was, "AIG is a microcosm of our regulatory regime."

But the transcript says not "microcosm," but "microchasm." And that's what AIG has proved to be, a money pit of gaping proportions. To top of page
First Published: March 7, 2009: 1:18 PM ET

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