Govt-owned AIG Lobbies Against Govt Regulation
Since the Federal Reserve rescued American International Group last month, 79.9 percent of it is taxpayer-owned.
So maybe it’s the other 20.1 percent that’s energetically lobbying states to ease new federal rules governing the mortgage market. The Wall Street Journal’s Elizabeth Williamson reports:
AIG is currently working to ease some provisions in a new federal law establishing strict oversight of mortgage originators, according to state regulators. The law requires that originators be licensed by the states, and that they supply comprehensive information so state regulators can track their activities.
On Sept. 16, the day of the federal takeover of AIG, company lobbyist Brett J. Ashton was meeting with Indiana banking regulators about the law, said Judith Ripley, director of the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions. Two weeks later, Mr. Ashton spent three days at a Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., where he briefed other financial-services industry representatives on “key legislative and regulatory concerns.”
The WSJ points out that when the government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it prohibited either company from lobbying. But it made no such rule with AIG.
This news of AIG lobbying comes as New York State Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo has vowed to recover “unwarranted and outrageous expenditures” by company executives. These expenses — such as a $1-million-a-month retainer to a fired employee and a resort getaway for high-performing agents after the company fell into public ownership — were uncovered by the House oversight committee last week.
But even after those revelations, the government pumped an additional $40 billion into the company last week — and at lease a sliver of that money has gone into lobbying against new government policies.