GET FREE E-MAIL UPDATES: SEND US YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WITH SUBSCRIBE IN THE SUBJECT LINE
or subscribe to our
Twitter service

UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

February 25, 2010

CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATORS LOOKING AT FORMER HEAD OF NY FED

GREG KAUFMANN, NATION - Ongoing Congressional investigations into the AIG bailout have put the incestuous and murky relationship between the Federal Reserve and Wall Street in the spotlight. . . Critics from both sides of the aisle fault Geithner and Bernanke for mismanagement, unnecessary secrecy and undermining Congressional oversight. But neither of them has been the target of questions about gaming the system for personal financial gain.

That distinction belongs to Stephen Friedman, the former chairman of the board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank and a member of the board of directors of Goldman Sachs. Through those two posts, Friedman may have had access to privileged information about the extent of Goldman's exposure to AIG and the opportunity to profit from the Fed's bailout of the beleaguered insurance giant. While he was serving on both boards, Friedman purchased 52,600 shares of Goldman stock, more than doubling the number of shares he owned. These purchases have since risen millions of dollars in value--and raised allegations of insider trading. . .

In late January, House Oversight Committee chair Edolphus Towns called in Geithner, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Baxter and Friedman to testify about the AIG bailout. Friedman's Goldman deal was a significant line of inquiry.

And now, at least one member of the committee, Massachusetts Representative Stephen Lynch, is calling not just for continued Congressional investigation but for other enforcement agencies to look into possible insider trading and other matters surrounding the AIG bailout . .

That Friedman was simultaneously chair of the New York Fed and a board member of Goldman Sachs was itself a violation of Fed policy. . . To allow him to maintain his roles at the Fed and Goldman, New York Fed officials, led by then-president Geithner, asked the Federal Reserve board of governors in Washington for a waiver, which was granted on January 21, 2009.

In the meantime, the New York Fed made its now-infamous decision--on November 9, 2008--to pay AIG counterparties like Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch full value for insurance on mortgage-backed securities that had tanked when the housing bubble burst. It was a $62 billion deal, and Goldman was the greatest domestic beneficiary, receiving an estimated $13 billion


0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home