Geithner and the AIG Emails: Scandal Is Only Tip of the Iceberg
By Eliot Spitzer and William K. Black and Frank Partnoy, NewDeal 2.0. Posted January 7, 2010.
Now we learn that Geithner told AIG to withhold details from the public about the billions it handed to banks during the crisis.
In a December New York Times op-ed, we called for the full public release of AIG email messages, internal accounting documents and financial models generated in the last decade. This Thursday, a Bloomberg story revealed that under Timothy Geithner's leadership, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York told AIG to withhold details from the public about its payments to banks during the crisis. This information was discovered when emails between the company and the Fed were requested by representative Darrell Issa, ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The emails requested by Issa span five months beginning in November 2008. If five months of emails reveal information key to our understanding of the aftermath of the crisis, imagine what 10 years of emails could contribute to our understanding of its causes. We believe the AIG emails and other internal company documents are the 'black box' of the financial crisis. If we understand the failure of AIG, we will more fully understand the crisis -- what caused it and more importantly how to prevent it from happening again. more