The committee called Mr. Geithner, former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.
and other officials to explain, once again, the confounding results of
an $85 billion rescue loan made to A.I.G. in September 2008. The loan
sheltered big banks from any losses, but saddled A.I.G. with a debt so
crushing that the Treasury soon had to step in and provide even more
rescue money. Mr. Geithner was the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in September 2008, when the first rescue loan to A.I.G. was extended.
Mr. Geithner’s statement, the questions focused almost immediately on
trying to determine why those negotiating on behalf of the taxpayers
did not push the banks to make concessions, like returning the
collateral to A.I.G. or accepting less than full value for their
contracts with the insurer.
At times, the hearing took on a scolding, even berating, tone, that at one point turned personal.
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