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Your Tax Dollars at Work

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Several news organizations have released lists of the financial firms that have received payments from taxpayers through AIG because they had credit default swap contracts with the insurer. But that list hasn’t come from the Federal Reserve or the Treasury Department. Last November in a House Financial Services Committee hearing, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) asked Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke if the Fed would make public “who those [AIG] counterparties are and how much they received?” Bernanke said he thought that information could be made public, but he has since declined to do so. On March 5, Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn again declined to list the AIG counterparties; Kohn heads a new Federal Reserve committee on transparency, and told the Senators that he would consider the request.

In the meantime, The Wall Street Journal printed a list on March 7 of the companies that had received funds from AIG since the bailout, starting with Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, which the Journal said had each received “roughly $6 billion in payments between mid-September and December 2008.” The other recipients, the Journal said, citing as sources “confidential document and people familiar with the matter,” include Merrill Lynch, Soci?t? G?n?rale, Calyon, Barclays, Rabobank, Danske, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Banco Santander, Morgan Stanley, Wachovia, Bank of America, and Lloyds Banking Group