There is a very interesting Bloomberg article on SIGTARP — the entity charged with putting some oversight on the TARP funds.

Almost as an aside, the article notes that “The secrecy that enveloped the [AIG] deal was unwarranted” and “could result in criminal or civil charges.”

The rest of the article focuses on SIGTARP and  its chairman, Neil Barofsky.

As an example, it discusses how Treasury, in response to demands for those same notorious AIG emails, tried to play a little poker with the new agency. Geithner’s Treasury asked the Justice Department “for a ruling on whether Barofsky and SIGTARP reported to Secretary Geithner.” Barofsky called Turbo Timmy’s bluff — and told the Treasury Secretary he reported only to the President, and not to the head of the department he was investigating. (Treasury then withdrew its request).

That gives you a sense of how SIGTARP operates.

Since Congress authorized the $700 billion in TARP funding in October 2008, the Treasury has committed $489.8 billion, and disbursed $380.3 billion as of the end of Q1 2010. So far, institutions have repaid $180.8 billion.


“SIGTARP has more than 40 agents, including former Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service investigators, who sport blue windbreakers emblazoned with the SIGTARP seal.

In its late-January report, SIGTARP said that the banks rescued by TARP remained “too big to fail.” They still have an incentive to make risky wagers in order to generate the profits that will reward their executives, the report says.”

The full piece is worth a read . . .


Barofsky Says Criminal Charges Possible in Alleged AIG Coverup
Richard Teitelbaum
Bloomberg, April 28 2010

Category: Bailouts, Regulation, Taxes and Policy

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

12 Responses to “SIGTARP: AIG Coverup Criminal Charges?”

  1. mark says:

    The investigations are only beginning and will continue for a decade or more.

    Remember that the Pecora Commission was at least the fourth, and not the last, investigation into malfeasance following the last bubble of comparable magnitude. There are a lot of reputations still to be destroyed.

    (BTW, what’s up with Saint Warren of Omaha suddenly insisting that BRK’s derivative deals should be off-limits to future investigations?

  2. The Curmudgeon says:

    Really? Blue windbreakers emblazoned with some nonsensical acronym and everything? Are they going to set up snipers outside Goldie’s headquarters, waiting on Paulson to reappear?

    This is so surreal. Sorta like the drug war. Create a problem, then show how effectively it can be solved through the application of a force backed up by all those nuclear-tipped warheads. Anytime you see the blue windbreakers, you know the government is doing nothing more than trying to justify its existence.

  3. bobabouey says:

    Worth rereading this one too, re. AIG itself was looking at 40% haircuts on settlements.

    In particular: “One reason par was paid was because some counterparties insisted on being paid in full and the New York Fed did not want to negotiate separate deals, says a person close to the transaction. “Some of those banks needed 100 cents on the dollar or they risked failure,” Vickrey says.”

  4. ajkurki says:

    BR: Why did you take down the Asness piece? I thought it was good, though I’m sure you disagree with some of his points.


    BR: I accidentally double scheduled that and David Rosenberg’s post
    It will be posted later today

  5. cognos says:

    God… can we stop with the incessant regulatory non-sense? I mean, I get it… promote the book. But all the Washington stuff is costing everyone money. That was an ’08 story… there are some great earnings and companies stories. And its not like the people hear really “care” about govt waste and bailouts… if so, there is far more waste and fraud in Iraq/Military spending or in Medicare spending (every single year!).

    There are better stories -

    I estimate iPad will ADD roughly $1/shr to next Qs AAPL earnings. They would’ve blown-out without it. It could be a killer Q. It will explode at the holidays.

    Banks have turned the credit cycle (love how all the bears on this blog just ignore Q data, profits, etc). If regulators to quiet down a bit, we’ll get a FULL restart of C&I lending and consumer credit. Who wants to see 5-7% GDP growth?

    NFP will continue to move upward and may even accelerate. In overly simple terms, two months of +500k takes 1% off the unemployment rate. I think we will get MORE than two of those in a row before the end of year. No reason (again, if regulators quiet down)… no reason we cannot see sub-8% unemployment rate by year end.

  6. bobabouey says:


    Yeah, right, ipad really isn’t getting enough coverage…

  7. bobabouey says:


    Per Cognos’ email, when you stop covering all of this “incessant regulatory non-sense” since it is an “08 story”, here are other things that Big Picture has not been providing sufficient coverage of:

    - Celebrity marital infidelities, including T. Woods and S. Bullock
    - Judges on American Idol
    - Facebook and other social media (I think this social media thing could be big)
    - Arizona immigration law
    - NYC Health initiatives – calorie counts at restaurant “chains”, low sodium initiative, soda tax

    Those are just some initial thoughts, I will add more as I think of them. Look forward to the changed focus on the blog.

    Robert Abouey

  8. mister_x says:


    Dude, you are such a obvious troll. Earlier it was amusing to see some commenters here take you seriously, but the “schtick” is getting boring fast.

  9. Pat Shuff says:

    Serpico on the beat, not a team player.

  10. alfred e says:

    Barofsky’s a dude.

    And he knows the game.

    So he put BSO on the spot. And BSO did not have the balls to can him.


    Or perhaps BSO is finally realizing the truth of the situation. And it ain’t goin’ away anytime soon.

    So he’d better make political hay fast. DUH.

  11. nemo says:

    “The secrecy that enveloped the [AIG] deal was unwarranted” and “could result in criminal or civil charges.”

    It would certainly be delicious if, after Geithner tried to assert non-existent authority over SIGTARP, then Barofsky ended up nailing Geithner (and Hank Paulson) with civil or criminal charges over the secret handout to AIG’s counterparties. Please, God, please.

  12. flipspiceland says:


    No reason (again, if regulators quiet down)… no reason we cannot see sub-8% unemployment rate by year end.

    Since the regulators aren’t likely to quiet down in the next 6 months, your ‘predicton’ is a tiny bit self-fulfilling.

    Tell me, BR, did you hire cognos to pump your hits? Just when I think I won’t ever reply to him/her/it
    here it comes with yet another post that is qualified to the point of uselessness.