A worthy question which is difficult to answer as there was no accountability built into the TARP bill. The lack of accountability was, likely, intentional. As people like the Wall Street Journal attempt to track the billions which have already been distributed, it has become clear that the TARP bill has been used as a pork distribution program, particularly for institutions that have key political connections. Of course, such abuse is linked to none other than the congressman who got us into the sub-prime mess, Barney Frank. However, it is certainly not limited to Frank and others are involved as noted by Hot Air’s Ed Morrisey.
Please read the aforementioned WSJ article (Political Interference Seen in Bank Bailout Decisions). It is well worth your time. Here’s the takeaway quote for me:
“It’s totally arbitrary,” says South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford. “If you’ve got the right lobbyist and the right representative connected to Washington or the right ties to Washington, you get the golden tap on the shoulder,” says Gov. Sanford, a Republican.
What about Utah banks?
The Wall Street Journal has an excellent State-by-State Breakdown of TARP Funds. Zions Bank and the Cache Valley Banking Company have managed a total of $1.405 Billion, thus far.
Questions remain, however. Utah’s Senator Bob Bennett has taken plenty of money from the banking industry (including Fannie and Freddie) and serves on the Banking Committee. Did he have any involvement in the Utah banks receiving TARP money? For a start, it would be nice to see followup stories on all House and Senate committee members (including Chris Dodd) and see if their antics don’t mirror Barney Frank’s.
For previous posts on the bailout and background (especially, “Burning Down the House”) see:
Call Rob Bishop on Bailout NOW! (Update: Votes)
Back To The House: Call Now on Bailout (Update: Perspective)(Another Update)
Burning Down the House: The Financial Fiasco in Under Ten Minutes (Updates)