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Archive for October 21st, 2009

SIGTARP

Or, “Every Government Entity Spawns At Least Three More Government Entities” 

When the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was created under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, Congress enacted several independent oversight entities and processes to ensure accountability and protect taxpayers including the Congressional Oversight Panel, GAO oversight and audits at Treasury, and an Inspector General to monitor the Treasury Secretary’s decisions. Mr. Barofsky presented SIGTARP’s third quarterly report to Congress and their first audit report on how recipients have used TARP funds at the hearing.

Where has all the TARP money gone? Looong time passin’……

The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“SIGTARP”) was created by Section 121 of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (“EESA”). Under EESA, SIGTARP has the responsibility, among other things, to conduct, supervise, and coordinate audits and investigations of the purchase, management, and sale of assets under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”). SIGTARP is required to report quarterly to Congress to describe SIGTARP’s activities and to provide certain information about TARP over that preceding quarter. EESA gives SIGTARP the authorities listed in Section 6 of the Inspector General Act of 1978, including the power to obtain documents and other information from Federal agencies and to subpoena reports, documents, and other information from persons or entities outside of Government. EESA provided SIGTARP with an initial allocation of $50 million to fund its operations. The Special Inspector General, Neil M. Barofsky, was confirmed by the Senate on December 8, 2008, and sworn into office on December 15, 2008.


Whenever you spend government money, you have to spend more government money to find out what happened to the other government money.  It’s like the old native American symbol representing infinity, a snake devouring it’s own tail.

(more…)

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Rewarding Failure

Leads to…..more failure. Who could have guessed?
U.S. bailout program increased moral hazard: watchdog A must read!

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government’s $700 billion financial bailout program has increased moral hazard in the markets by infusing capital into banks that caused the financial crisis, a watchdog for the program said on Wednesday.

The special inspector general for the U.S. Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) said the plan put in place a year ago was clearly influencing market behavior, and he repeated that taxpayers may never recoup all their money.
The bailout fund may have helped avert a financial system collapse but it could reinforce perceptions the government will step in to keep firms from failing, the quarterly report from inspector general Neil Barofsky said.

Wow, these guys are real mental giants.

And handing out oodles of “free” taxpayer money leads toooooo… Lots of people trying to get their own piece of the money pie! Surprise!

WASHINGTON — The House ethics panel said Thursday that it is investigating Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat who came under scrutiny for allegedly helping a bank with which she had ties secure a meeting with Treasury Department officials about obtaining bailout funds.
Sidney Williams, Ms. Waters’s husband, was on the bank’s board of directors until last year.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that Ms. Waters allegedly helped OneUnited Bank of Boston get a meeting with Treasury officials to negotiate a $12 million bailout. On Thursday, the ethics panel acknowledged for the first time that it is investigating her.
Oops, another one..
Last November, Rangel and five other members of Congress took a junket to the Caribbean with $100,000 from Citigroup — just weeks after Congress bailed out banks with $700 billion in taxpayer funds.

Update:

Gutierrez letter shows efforts to save a bank

Rep. Gutierrez (D-Ill.) pressed the federal government for bailout money for a bank with which he has a long relationship.

Less than a week after Banco Popular, a Puerto Rico-based bank, asked Gutierrez for help in October 2008, Gutierrez wrote to Henry Paulson, who was Treasury secretary at the time. In an Oct. 20 letter, Gutierrez portrayed the bank as a special case in need of an urgent rescue.

“Obviously, it is in the best interest of the U.S. Government and Puerto Rico that Popular continue providing services to maintain a safe and sound financial system,” Gutierrez wrote in the letter, obtained by The Hill under the Freedom of Information Act.

Left unmentioned was the Illinois Democrat’s long affiliation with the bank and its U.S. operations in particular. Bank executives had contributed tens of thousands of dollars until 2004 to Gutierrez’s political campaigns. The congressman’s wife, Soraida, was a senior vice president at the firm from 2005 to 2007, before being fired.

Here’s a chart I found interesting..



A link to view the full chart. 

And these people want to run health care.

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