Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke invited congressional auditors to conduct a "full review" of the central bank's aid to American International Group Inc. after lawmakers accused the Fed of trying to conceal information about the bailout.
"The Federal Reserve would welcome a full review by GAO of all aspects of our involvement in the extension of credit to AIG," Bernanke said Tuesday in a letter to Gene Dodaro, acting head of the Government Accountability Office, that was released by the Fed.
Bernanke's letter coincides with efforts by lawmakers to obtain more details on the Fed's oversight of AIG after e-mails released this month showed that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York asked the company to withhold information from the public about payments to banks.
Bernanke wrote that a GAO audit would "afford the public the most complete possible understanding of our decisions and actions in this matter," and "provide a comprehensive response to questions that have been raised by members of Congress."
The assistance included "significant conditions and protections for the taxpayers," Bernanke wrote. "The Federal Reserve and Treasury Department required new management of AIG; we obtained for the U.S. government a significant stock interest in AIG that materially diluted existing shareholders of AIG; and we required AIG to immediately begin to wind down its systemically risky operations."