January 30, 2009

GAO Auditors: Hey! Don't Look At Us! We Can't Tell If The Bank Bailout Worked Or Not!

Ummm....isn't that your job? Just askin'.

And some of the solutions for the banking industry are just chock full of potential Epic Fail.

The report covers Treasury's administration of the bailout, called the Troubled Asset Relief Program, through Jan. 23. Nearly $294 billion had been released by that date — almost $200 billion of it through a program to inject capital directly into financial institutions.

The roughly $200 billion in capital injections doesn't include any of the separate money authorized to guarantee losses for Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., or about $20 billion to stabilize automakers Chrysler and General Motors Corp.

"Even with more time and better data, it will remain difficult to separate the impact of TARP activities from the effect of other economic forces," the report said.

Recent moves to improve oversight of the money hadn't gone far enough, according to the report. Treasury introduced a plan to survey the 20 largest participating firms each month following an earlier GAO report that blasted the program's lack of transparency.

More information about how the money was divided and how recipients spent it was still necessary, the new report said.

"We continue to believe that additional action is needed to better ensure that all participating institutions are accountable for their use of program funds," the GAO said.

The report also said Treasury had "taken important steps" to address nine recommendations from the earlier report, which included calls to improve communication about the bailout and hire staff to oversee it.

But Treasury "has yet to fully address eight" of the recommendations, the report said.

"The lack of a clearly articulated vision has complicated Treasury's ability to effectively communicate to Congress, the financial markets, and the public on the benefits of TARP," the report said.

Also Friday, officials including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair were meeting to discuss overhauling the bailout program and other financial and regulatory reforms.

Officials have been considering several programs, including a government-run "bad bank" that would buy up trouble assets clogging banks' balance sheets, and additional guarantees against losses like those granted to Bank of America and Citigroup. Additional capital injections also are possible.


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January 25, 2009

Something to check out

If there's one Twitter feed to follow, it'd be Senator Coburn's Pork Barrel, which chronicles wasteful pork spending in DC.  Yeah, I know that pork is a drop in the bucket as far as DC wasteful spending goes, but every little bit helps, and Coburn has been pretty solid all around on trying to limit spending. 

Anyway, this one caught my eye, given that it's not too far away from here, an official from Northumberland County was given $1500 for plane tickets plus expenses to go to an expo on renewable energy in France.  Hey, I'd be willing to listen to a bunch of bullshit artists rattle on about "green energy" for a free trip to France, if for no other reason than to get my fill of wine and brandy.

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January 24, 2009

Thought on the Obama/Limbaugh story

Looks to me like Obama is trying to offer an out to the GOP leadership for selling out conservatives.  When Obama says that the GOP leadership can't let Limbaugh stop them, he doesn't mean Limbaugh, he means conservatives.  He knows the GOP leadership despises us, he's trying to convince them that selling out is gonna be alright.  Seems to me there's a race between Obama and conservatives to see who can implant a backbone into the GOP elites first.

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January 23, 2009

Question to all you PA Morons

Did your State Representative/Senator promise to give back their raise?  Mine definitely didn't give back theirs if they did.  For those unaware of the back story, a few years ago, the PA State Legislature decided to sneak themselves a little pay raise, pissed off voters, and a bunch of incumbents were booted out of office in the next election, a few of which were pretty powerful in Harrisburg.  Ever since then, any time the words "Legislative Pay Raise" are uttered, PA state legislators dive into a foxhole, cower and shout "I'LL GIVE EVERY PENNY BACK I PROMISE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T VOTE ME OUT!" 

This time, the PA legislature was given a raise this December because of a previous state law that automatically raises their pay.  For those that don't know, PA legislators are actually paid fairly well compared to most other states, which is in part why people flip their shit when the PA legislature gets another raise.

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January 16, 2009

We live in a scary world

When the Paulnut himself makes more sense than most of of Washington on the economy.  He's still a fucking nutball, though.

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January 08, 2009

City of Harrisburg asks for bailout

Offers up $700 million in project proposals. 

Posted by: doubleplusundead at 11:07 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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