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Records show federal regulators paid little attention to AIG before $180B bailout

Staff Report • May 14, 2009 at 12:00 AM

The Hill is reporting that in the eight months before AIG received a taxpayer bailout that now stands at $180 billion, top officials at the firm’s main federal regulator paid scant attention to the troubled insurer.Then Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) Director John Reich and then Deputy Director Scott Polakoff held no meetings dedicated to AIG until a 45-minute conference call on Sept. 15, according to a review of 2008 calendars.The next day, AIG got $85 billion as part of a bailout that has since more than doubled.Overall, a review of calendars for six key agency officials that The Hill obtained under the Freedom of Information Act indicates that AIG garnered little attention from high-ranking OTS officials in Washington, particularly when compared with other firms under their jurisdiction, which were the subjects of many specific meetings.Five officials, including Polakoff and Reich, had at least 37 calls or meetings regarding Washington Mutual before the bank was taken into government receivership on Sept. 25, 2008. Four agency officials had a total of at least eight meetings about IndyMac before it failed on July 11, 2008.CLICK HERE for the full report.

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