"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." Those are the words of Jesus, and they couldn't be more relevant that they are today on Wall Street. Some very large financial giants triggered a massive economic crisis that has caused suffering for millions of people, and we still don't know exactly what happened. It's time to learn the truth behind the irresponsible, risky and selfish behaviors that plunged our nation and so many families into this painful mess. Today, I joined one effort to do that; and I invite you to join with me. Here's the story.
One of the giants whose practices led to the 2008 financial crisis was AIG -- the American Insurance Group. When it was on the verge of collapse, the federal government intervened with a bailout that ultimately totaled $180 billion. Now, as several major banks are re-paying bailout funds in order to get free from strict government regulation, AIG is beginning to discuss a similar action.
Yesterday, three of the leading corporate investigators -- Eliot Spitzer, former attorney general and governor of New York; Frank Partnoy, professor of law at the University of San Diego; and William Black, professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City -- wrote in the New York Times:
A.I.G. was at the center of the web of bad business judgments, opaque financial derivatives, failed economics and questionable political relationships that set off the economic cataclysm of the past two years.
And, they conclude that:
The three of us, as experienced investigators and prosecutors of financial fraud, cannot answer these questions now. But we know where the answers are. They are in the trove of e-mail messages still backed up on A.I.G. servers, as well as in the key internal accounting documents and financial models generated by A.I.G. during the past decade. Before releasing its regulatory clutches, the government should insist that the company immediately make these materials public.
Sojourners and blogs at www.godspolitics.com.
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