Rep. Alan Grayson has written a letter calling for the release of all documents and materials contained on AIG’s internal servers. His idea deserves support. US taxpayers rescued AIG and own a majority (79.9%) of its shares. Serious questions remain about the payment of money AIG allegedly owed “counterparties” like Goldman Sachs: Why did the US government indirectly pay 100 cents on the dollar to these counterparties for debts from a broken company? Were the amounts claimed by these counterparties legitimate or inflated? Was there an attempt to negotiate the amounts down – and if not, why not?
There are other legitimate and important areas of inquiry, too: Why were large bonuses paid out, presumably to the same people that ruined the company and cost the taxpayers billions? Was there a secret deal to ensure that these bonuses were paid? Did regulators and auditors perform their functions adequately? Rep. Grayson quotes fraud investigators Bill Black, Eliot Spitzer, and Frank Portnoy as saying that “a thousand journalistic flowers can bloom” once these materials are released. They’re right.
The public has a right to know. These materials should be released.
The full text of Rep. Grayson’s letter is below.