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The smoking gun in the AIG – Geithner cover up

geithner-email-10-01-07

In handwriting:

Note that there should be no discussion or suggestion that AIG and the NY Fed are asking to structure anything else at this point.

It will be enlightening to hear him explain what this statement means. See also Tim Geithner "Protects America From Itself" By Forcing Elimination Of Material AIG Disclosure at Zero Hedge. There are many more documents to come. This story is just unfolding.

Update 9 Jan 2010: This post originally attributed the handwritten notes above to Tim Geithner. However, New York Fed officials are now saying he had no direct involvement in this matter.  See NY Fed: Geithner not involved in AIG disclosures from Reuters. At a minimum, Congress needs to investigate the matter.  And they are taking steps to do so. See Lawmakers press for Geithner AIG testimony also from Reuters.

About 

Edward Harrison is the founder of Credit Writedowns and a former career diplomat, investment banker and technology executive with over twenty years of business experience. He is also a regular economic and financial commentator on BBC World News, CNBC Television, Business News Network, CBC, Fox Television and RT Television. He speaks six languages and reads another five, skills he uses to provide a more global perspective. Edward holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College. Edward also writes a premium financial newsletter. Sign up here for a free trial.

14 Comments

  1. Max says:

    You mean our Timmy is more than a penny ante tax cheat?

  2. Doug Terpstra says:

    Oops, I barely clicked the rating bar and accidentally rated this a six when I intended a ten. There go the Neilsons and advertising windfall!

    Great post, Edward, especially the incriminating scribbles. It seems Timmy should be doing the perp-walk. Not paying taxes is one thing, overt fraud is too far. The only problem is a jury of his peers, a fraternity of banksters, would acquit him in a NY minute. Today the smoking gun is loaded with blanks—the prosecutors’ and regulators’ guns that is; the people are locking and loading with live ammo.

    • LavrentiBeria says:

      “The only problem is a jury of his peers, a fraternity of banksters, would acquit him in a NY minute.”

      Oh, have no fear. Barney Frank adjudges today that an investigation into this affair is warrented, you know the Barney Frank of Steve Gobbie and the recent kill-the-Paul/Grayson-audit-the-fed manuever fame. If there’s ever to be comedy in Washington it will be the depraved Frank, up on a moral high horse about Geithner. What utter garbage we have in Washington. One day, the people will have both of these snakes behind bars awaiting public trial.

  3. Remix Trades says:

    It seems o9ike “desperate times” called for “desperate measures”.

    I wonder what else happened that we don’t know….

  4. LavrentiBeria says:

    And if you’re looking for the usually insipid media coverage of this question, don’t overlook the mouse, Jim Learer, and the sound-alike establishment cheerleaders at PBS. Expect them to have the sleep-inducing Dan Balz of the Washington Post and other servile, power worshipping media figures as commentators. Believe me, no one will ever be punished for these outrageous and noxious arrogances until the people take to the streets and shut down their places of employment.

  5. Element says:

    US citizens scathingly write the phrase “Change We Can Believe In”. Seeing it everywhere as displeasure with Obamagedon builds. But no one gets the wording right, it was “Change We Need”. Interesting how this got scrambled by virtually everyone.

    My perpetually sceptical ears heard several times prior to the election that Obama emerged from the most corrupt legislature in the U.S. At the time it surprised me so few realised that if a monumentally ambitious person became a lawyer solely to serve Presidential ambition and emerged as Alpha-dog from the most corrupt legislature in the U.S., there’s a reasonable to good chance he’s mercenary, flying under the radar.

    Obama’s endless invocation of Lincoln, to impute his own greatness as a figure-of-history, also stimulated suspicion. He was perception-engineering and personality-cult building from the beginning.

    Poise, complexion, teeth, charisma—check!
    Appears to string both thoughts and words together in front of a prompter—check!
    Can wear Men-In-Black suit—check!
    Cute smart family—check!
    Bought a puppy—check!

    The ‘We’ within “Change We Need” doesn’t refer to Joe-sixpack;

    - Obama had the most expensive campaign in US history, with other people’s money.
    - Promised to abolish earmarks, even cut whole programs, and remove all pork and waste, but April 7th 2009 a token $17 billion USD was cut, while the earmarks remain.
    - Would end business-as-usual in Washington—no.
    - Would end unsustainable, destructive Wall Street behaviour—ha!
    - Would favour mainstreet over Wall Street and TBTF Banks—July 30th 2009 US Govt had allocated a mere $50 billion for foreclosure reduction from $3.143 trillion in total financial crisis funding on that date. $240 billion remained unallocated, while >$3 trillion went to Wall Street TBTF banks.

    What, a skunk sprayed you, and no one saw that coming either?

    Superficial image easily trumps Law and public interest. Charisma is poisonous and personality cult malignant. Action, inaction and reaction tell all. That Obama still rates ~50% popularity is testament to his natural talent, and how flawless the national lie-support apparatus is. Rationalise it through ‘mitigating factors’, almost everyone does (you’re supposed to).

    I call it ‘ultra-denial’—a prerequisite for extend-and-pretend. But if you didn’t get paid you won’t pretend anymore, and that’s where ultra-denial ends. The real economy won’t tolerate it.

    US private debt of 258% of GDP doesn’t go away if Tim Geithner insists, “we’re not going to allow a second-wave of crisis to occur” (paraphrased). That will stalk him all the way to the economic-history shelf.

    258% of US GDP is $36.2 trillion USD. A US $1 note is ~0.025mm thick (40 = 1cm). If 36.2 trillion $1 notes are stacked beside the Washington Monument, these extend 2.36 times beyond the average orbital distance to Earth’s moon. At the speed of light, it takes 3.02 seconds to get from Tim Geithner’s office to the top of that stack. At least half that debt needs to go away, one way or another, before authentic sustainable (savings-driven not credit-driven) consumption and growth resumes.

    But in the week before Christmas, Obama and Geithner practically begged convulsing too-small-to-bailout banks to make more loans. That’s ultra-denial.

    A President and his appointee officiate over the level of credit-risk for vulnerable destabilised banks now? This strikes me as deeply inappropriate but the situation is so desperate they have no choice. About 20% of the 72% consumer component of US GDP is MIA, tax receipts down further, bank lending STILL falling in the US, capacity utilisation near record lows, new construction still vomiting blood.

    How can US GDP growth meaningfully be considered ‘positive’?

    GDP trends haven’t aided my understanding. James Bibbings at Commodity News Center wrote quite a lot about GDP around the middle of 2009, but it just confirmed my suspicion that GDP can be rigged, or what a Govt wants it to be. As a stat for tracking economic health or growth it’s extraordinarily overrated. Total global trade fell by about 30% from Sept 2008 to June-2009 while global GDP fell by -1%. GDP is a trifling statistic, barely worth considering as a positive or negative growth indicator. Perhaps GDP measured something useful before over-financialisation of the global economy.

    “…The “Great Trade Collapse” occurred between the third quarter of 2008 and the second quarter of 2009. Signs are that it has ended and recovery has begun, but it was huge. The steepest fall of world trade in recorded history and the deepest fall since the Great Depression. …” – Source: The Great Trade Collapse: Causes, Consequences and Prospects, CEPR, Nov 2009.

    World trade is still down ~20% pre-crisis level. It wouldn’t take much to make it fall once more, but it appears that recovering the ‘old-normal’ is out of the question. If people don’t get paid extend-and-pretend has nowhere to go. Then the financial sewer will backup past the S-bend. That’s what price to earnings, falling credit and bank failures are foreshadowing—people will progressively not get paid.

    Ten years ago an elderly client of mine covered head to foot with scars from major surgeries, said to me, when you’re young you get sick and recover, but as you age you get sick and it progressively becomes complicated. Things go wrong, you recover, just very slowly, and complications accumulate. It gets to a point where you realise that when you get sick next, it may not involve a recovery.

    Jobless recovery and now structural unemployment mean complications are multiplying. It’ll take much longer to recover and damage is accumulating. One of these recessions the US economy may not respond. The US system needs an operation but the patient has not been (1), bluntly informed of how badly it needs to change its behaviour and get fit, or (2), confronted with the immediate requirement for a radical surgery.

    Your artless surgeons, realising they’re out of their depth talk it up, “Good news, you’re in recovery, no more ventilator, we’re discharging you early!”

    Good-luck “not allowing” a second-wave, Mr. Geithner.