Reporters are still—to this day—forced to beg, scrape, snuffle, and pry information loose the best they can from anonymous sources. From the case of the source in Bloomberg’s Goldman profile—Mr./Ms. “Wouldn’t Have Lost Money”—we know these sources have their own hidden, bogus agendas. This source was trying to pretend the AIG bailout didn’t matter to Goldman. My eye.

Finally, get a load of the answers to Bloomberg’s Pittman when he asked the relevant public agencies and the government-owned AIG which counterparties are receiving U.S. bailout money:

“What AIG did with its money, you should call AIG,’” said Fed spokesman Calvin Mitchell. “I doubt that we will be talking about AIG’s CDO portfolio.’”


AIG spokesman Nicholas Ashooh said the company would not disclose its counterparties or the contents of the CDO portfolio. He declined further comment.


Treasury spokeswoman Brookly McLaughlin said, “The Fed had the lead on this one: It’s their loan. I don’t know how I could be more clear.”’

I don’t know how I could be more clear, Brookly: This stinks.

The case for AIG-bailout transparency is obvious. The Columbia Journalism Review is ready to stand with anyone interested in forcing disclosure of taxpayer spending on Wall Street. Just email me at

Dean Starkman Dean Starkman runs The Audit, CJR's business section, and is the author of The Watchdog That Didn't Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (Columbia University Press, January 2014).

Follow Dean on Twitter: @deanstarkman.