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Cummings Wants IG to Investigate Counterparty Payments

Keep AIG accountable for every taxpayer dollar
Join a request for an investigation into AIG's counterparty payments

Dear Colleague:

American International Group, Inc. (AIG) has received roughly $180 billion in taxpayer funds since September 2008. Yet it has continued to pay hundreds of millions in bonuses to the same AIG employees that drove the company into insolvency.

As we continue to address the issue of the bonuses, we cannot lose sight of another potential abuse of taxpayer funds - the counterparty payments.

Under intense pressure, AIG finally released a list of transaction counterparties on March 15. These releases showed that the investment banks around the world received billions in taxpayer dollars without apparently being required to take a discount; further, there is little evidence that a concerted strategy guided the payments.

The American people were told that they had to bail out the financial sector because of the great systemic risk from an AIG collapse, and $180 billion later, the people find themselves "involuntary investors."

Further, Goldman Sachs claimed in September that they had no material exposure to AIG; however, after AIG released the counterparty information on March 15, we found out that Goldman Sachs received almost $13 billion in counterparty payments.

The Special Inspector General for the Troubled Assets Relief Program was created to ensure that transparency and accountability stay firmly rooted in the government's efforts to revive and sustain the American economy. This letter proposes that the Special Inspector General examine the nature of the counterparty payments - including the recipients, the process by which they were made whole, and the justification, if any, for that level of payment.

Investment in AIG may be necessary, but it deserves the utmost scrutiny and attention. For more information or to co-sign the letter requesting an investigation into the counterparty payments from AIG (text can be found below), please contact xxxxx at xxxxx, by 3:00 pm, Tuesday, March 24.

About The Author

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Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com