Earlier this week, we flagged a solicitation letter Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) sent to colleagues seeking their support for an inquiry into the AIG counterparty payments.
That effort has, as planned, resulted in a different letter, this one to Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the TARP. "We would like to know if the A.I.G. counterparty payments, as made, were in the best interests of the taxpayers who provided the funding," the letter says. According to the New York Times, Cummings got 26 members of the House to sign this letter--every one of them Democrats.
The absence of Republican signatories (or at least one particular Republican signatory) is a little bit curious. Cummings wants to know who made the decision to pay off in full AIG's biggest trading partners, and he ought to have an unlikely bedfellow in Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), the ranking member on the House Financial Services committee. As we reported yesterday, Bachus wants the answer to a very related question: Were those partners paid off in full at the expense of smaller partners who are allegedly being asked to take a 70 percent hit on loans they made to AIG subsidiaries.