No redactions! AIG reveals the full story

By David Goldman, staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Wanna see for yourself the confidential AIG documents that lawmakers are up in arms about? Go to SEC.gov.

On Friday, the bailed-out insurance giant made public the complete details of the most controversial aspect of its $181 billion bailout: a decision to use taxpayer funds to make the troubled insurer's business partners whole.

Included in the filing are nearly 200 lines of descriptions of contracts unintelligible to all but experts.

The decision to file a complete, unredacted report to regulators came after Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., leaked the document to the press on Wednesday following a hearing on AIG (AIG, Fortune 500).

Officials at the New York Federal Reserve, one of AIG's main overseers, had asked the SEC to keep confidential certain transactions listed in the filing until Nov. 25, 2018.

The documents at issue outline the assets that AIG and the New York Fed purchased in November 2008 from 16 of AIG's counterparties.

Initially, the New York Fed instructed AIG not to release any information about the transactions.

But when the SEC came knocking on AIG's door, the Fed asked the SEC if the regulator would allow the company to file but keep the documents confidential.

Last March, when AIG finally released the names of its counterparties and the amount of money that went to each, it still kept private the types of assets that it and the New York Fed had purchased.

The New York Fed said it wanted the information to remain confidential because releasing that information to the public may give AIG's business partners inside information.

But some lawmakers questioned that idea, asking how taxpayers can judge whether their money was put to good use without knowledge of what they were buying.

"The American people have the right to know how their tax dollars were spent and who benefited most from this back-door bailout," said Kurt Bardella, spokesman for Issa. "Now that it's public, let's see if the sky really does fall as the New York Fed said it would to justify its coverup."

Other lawmakers believed that the New York Fed was trying to hide its ties to Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500).

Though it is hard to divine much understanding from the unredacted filing, it has become clear that Goldman had more involvement than previously believed: In addition to the credit default swaps it bought from AIG, the filing shows that Goldman Sachs also originated many of the underlying assets that AIG and the New York Fed bought back from Société Générale.

In its filing, AIG said that it released the documents "due to the recent public disclosure of the full contents of Schedule A." A spokesman from AIG said that the Issa's release of the documents made their confidentiality "moot."  To top of page

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