Congressman Grayson Demands Release of AIG Emails → Washingtons Blog
Congressman Grayson Demands Release of AIG Emails - Washingtons Blog

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Congressman Grayson Demands Release of AIG Emails

Congressman Grayson sent the following letter to AIG's trustee:

March 18, 2010

AIG Credit Facility Trust

Trustee Peter A. Langerman

Trustee Chester B. Feldberg

Trustee Jill M. Considine

Arnold & Porter LLP

399 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022

Dear Mr. Langerman, Mr. Feldberg and Ms. Considine,

I write to request that you turn over to this office, and the public, e-mails backed up on AIG’s servers, including internal accounting documents and financial models developed by the company in the last decade. The public owns AIG. We bought it, for an initial down payment of $182 billion. You are the representatives of the public, through your positions as the three trustees of the AIG Credit Facility Trust.

The public is unhappy with the purchase. In March, 2009, a poll found that 82% of the public wanted bonuses to AIG employees returned. This didn’t happen. We do not know who is responsible for the company’s collapse, or whether they are working now at other banks or for the Federal government. We do not know if they got bonuses, if they were committing fraud, whether there were kickbacks from counterparties, or if there was any significant restraining role played by the regulatory community. We cannot separate the bad decision-makers from innocent employees, because we simply do not know what went on. You can address this problem, by releasing to us and on the internet, with reasonable discretion, all or sustainably all of the emails and documents that describe the web of relationships and practices behind AIG’s failed business.

Last year, I asked former AIG CEO Ed Liddy to give me the names of the people who destroyed AIG and cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars. He refused. I asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to look into the matter. The GAO wrote that it didn’t have the authority to do an audit. I requested that the Special Inspector General of TARP look into the problem. I was told that the problem is too complicated.

The ball is in your court. As experienced fraud investigators Bill Black, Eliot Spitzer, and Frank Portnoy wrote in December, 2009:

Once the documents are available for everyone to inspect, a thousand journalistic flowers can bloom, as reporters, victims and angry citizens have a chance to piece together the story. In past cases of financial fraud — from the complex swaps that Bankers Trust sold to Procter & Gamble in the early 1990s to the I.P.O. kickback schemes of the late 1990s to the fall of Enron — e-mail messages and internal documents became the central exhibits in our collective understanding of what happened, and why.

[Here is Black, Spitzer and Portnoy's letter.]

On Wall Street, winners can win, but losers must lose. This did not happen with AIG. AIG itself, AIG employees, and AIG counterparties were bailed out. It is beyond outrageous that this company, which taxpayers capitalized after Wall Street used it as a slush fund, hides nearly all relevant facts from its owners, the public. Should this information be released, it is likely that the value of AIG’s remaining businesses will be unchanged. In any event, the public and public markets will benefit dramatically from transparency, because reliable information is the cornerstone of effective markets.

I ask that you exercise prudent judgment as stewards of the public interest, and direct the release of all or substantially all emails and financial records into the public domain.


Alan Grayson

Member of Congress


  1. Thanks,

    I'm going to run this at my site.

    Let's start a big noise.


  2. Release of AIG emails; good idea.

    But i wonder why Grayson is sending a public letter to the AIG trustee which seems to warn them that "reporters, victims and angry citizens" will be digging through the emails looking for evidence of fraud and malfeasance, of which there may be an abundance.

    Grayson says, "I write to request that you turn over to this office, and the public," and "The ball is in your court."

    According to wiki:
    "Congressional rules empower all its standing committees with the authority to compel witnesses to produce testimony and documents for subjects under its jurisdiction. Committee rules may provide for the full Committee to issue a subpoena, or permit subcommittees or the Chairman (acting alone or with the ranking member) to issue subpoenas."

    Congress has the power to subpoena these emails, and it seems there would probably be overwhelming public support for doing so; why is Grayson ASKING the AIG trustee for them, and not finding at least one subcommittee Chairman to issue a subpoena (Grayson is a freshman congressman, and is not a chair of any committees). Without a subpoena, how would we know that everything has been released? Grayson even says that the AIG trustee, not Congress, is the one that should use "reasonable discretion" in deciding which emails, and which parts of them, to release.

    Does not even Kucinich, a subcommittee chairman, have the balls to subpoena the emails? Maybe not, he just promised to vote for Obama's health insurance industry giveaway, apparently w/o getting a single public interest concession in exchange for doing so. If Grayson has actually talked to some of the pretend people's representatives in Congress about doing this and they've all shied away, it would be good for the country to know about it, though it would surely make him a lot of enemies in Congress and corporate America. So is ASKING the AIG trustee to VOLUNTARILY turn over the emails just grandstanding and a fundraising ploy, or what?

  3. sounds like a warning- go delete those emails white house did under bush or like MS now does on every top level email. no logs backups or records are allowed of the top management emails in that company since the trials on monopoly practices.

    If this isn't a warning to AIG . go bury the evidence!.. then it's plain and simple naive. IF the US public owns it. send FBi to confiscate the email in a none pre-announced raid.

    This is very odd indeed.

  4. I like Greyson, I really do. But, whom is he kidding? The people in AIG are hardened financial criminals and fraudsters. This is like asking Simeon Mogilevich (One of the most notorious mafia bosses in the world) to admit that he's ever done anything wrong.

    They will NEVER give out any true information until there's a court order and they're threatened with CRIMINAL SENTENCES!!! As corrupt as Washinton,DC is today, nobody will ever appoint a truly "independent" committee. Congress are bought and paid by lobbyist and other corporate and political groups. They're never going to give up that. Greyson just hasn't been sufficiently paid so far, that's all.

  5. No need, just arrest them all first, without bail/bailout, and then raid their files. Never let them out of prison and use all their gains for their stay. From Hank Greenberg to the boys and girls on the Hill. Don't ask the FBI to do it though, ask me and 300 plus million Americans.

  6. Let's hope this campaign gains steam by summer.

  7. dear gw, love your diligence,
    the absolute lack of recognition of wrongdoing(social injustice) on wall streets part is like a colourblindness.
    The fundamental shortcoming is explicable.
    By having a mentality that is attuned to screens and figures, there is a void or disconnect in their mind for human consequences.
    In addition wall $treet think economy is figures on a $creen, while what main street is coming to know is that economy, woven from blood and sweat, is the fruitfulness of humble labouring citizens. William Faulkener understood this clearly and his novel, "The Sound and the Fury" carves it indelibly in the collective imagination. A seventy year old lesson, unlearned!!!???

    But back to the W.$. blind spot, How does one help a sick economy??? Wangle new numbers into the screenshot ... magic ... bingo ... 700M$ ... saved!!?? is W.$. line. They have no other conception! No inkling! Their minds are(happily and conceitedly) blank. Life's raison d'etre is filling ones own pockets fuller than most everyone elses!

    The obverse is the truth, that when people have a sound conception of life and humanity and they realize that their own creative efforts and their own labours are what will make them fruitful and in the end contented with what they have given to society, then the economy will be resilient and healthy.

    If we are shaken enough by this crisis to break the manacles of misconception and shape a worldview that is inclusive of human creative endeavour towards fruitfulness then this crisis will have been a blessing beyond all others in our lives.


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