Reuters reporter Matthew Goldstein has this breaking story:
It could take until November 2018 to get the full story behind the U.S. bailout of insurance giant American International Group because of an action taken last year by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In May, the SEC approved a request by AIG to keep secret an exhibit to a year-old regulatory filing that includes some of the details on the most controversial aspect of the AIG bailout: the funneling of tens of billions of dollars to big banks like Societe Generale, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch.
The SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, in granting AIG’s request for confidential treatment, said the "excluded information" will not be made public until Nov. 25, 2018, according to a copy of the agency’s May 22 order.
The SEC said the insurer had demonstrated the information in the exhibit, called Schedule A, "qualifies as confidential commercial or financial information."
The expiration date for the SEC order falls on the 10th anniversary of Federal Reserve of New York’s decision to provide emergency financing to an entity set up to specifically acquire some $60 billion in collateralized debt obligations from 16 banks in the United States and Europe.
Look, here’s what’s going on: Government officials wanted to prevent damage to big-to-fail institutions like Citigroup, AIG or Goldman Sachs after the Lehman collapse. As a result, they did any- and everything they could to do so.
- That meant bullying a CEO into a merger as in the Bank of America case.
- That meant loaning banks trillions at low rates against dodgy collateral and then refusing to reveal to whom and against what the money was lent in the case of the Fed.
- That meant giving banks $350 billion in TARP funds to all banks generally to hide the distress of specific institutions like Citigroup.
- That meant covering up the free back door handouts and demanding private companies comply with the cover-up in the AIG case.
- That meant making a dodgy settlement with Bank of America for alleged improprieties in disclosure to shareholders in the case of the SEC.
- That meant letting Citigroup off the hook for a multi-billion dollar tax bill when repaying TARP funds in the case of the IRS.
- That meant changing or re-interpreting accounting provisions that would create large writedowns.
I could go on. There are 100 other ways this whole charade has been concocted. Should we be surprised at yet another revelation of this sort? Folks, this is how your government now does business – the corruption, the collusion, and connivance is more brazen, more open and more unapologetic than ever.
SEC order helps maintain AIG bailout mystery – Matthew Goldstein, Reuters