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More Inconsistencies in the AIG Email Scandal

Here’s the New York Fed telling Bloomberg News yesterday that the agency didn’t force the 2008 decision to delay disclosure of AIG payments to other Wall

Elisa Mueller
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Jan 09, 2010

Here’s the New York Fed telling Bloomberg News yesterday that the agency didn’t force the 2008 decision to delay disclosure of AIG payments to other Wall Street firms using taxpayer money.

“Our position has always been that if AIG’s securities lawyers determine that AIG is legally obligated to make a particular filing or disclosure, then that is what AIG must do,” said Jack Gutt, a spokesman for the New York Fed, in an e- mailed statement. Gutt said it was appropriate for the New York Fed, as party to deals outlined in the filings, “to provide comments on a number of issues, including disclosures, with the understanding that the final decision rested with AIG’s securities counsel.”

Yet here is an email — sent Nov. 25, 2008, by Kathleen Shannon, an AIG deputy general counsel –  indicating that AIG’s lawyers, Sullivan & Cromwell, were opposed to any such delay in disclosure.

While we agree as a technical matter that the agreements listed in the index do not need to be filed with the 8-K and could be delayed in the Form 10-K, we and Sullivan & Cromwell believe that the better practice and better disclosure in this complex arena is to file the agreements currently rather than delay. I also believe that given the extensive comments we have received from the Staff with respect to this area, that the Staff would not be particularly happy with a decision to withhold the documents at this time.

10-K refers to the Securities and Exchange Commission form that public companies must file annually, while 8-K refers to the SEC form that must be filed to report significant happenings that would be of interest to shareholders.

More questions for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, former head of the New York Fed, should he appear before the House later this month.

Elisa Mueller | Elisa Mueller was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a mother who taught reading and a father who taught film. As a result, she spent an excessive amount of her childhood reading books and watching movies. She went to the University of Kansas for college, where she earned bachelor's degrees in English and journalism. She moved to New York City and worked for Entertainment Weekly magazine for ten years, visiting film sets all over the world.

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