There is a very interesting Bloomberg article on SIGTARP — the entity charged with putting some oversight on the TARP funds.
Almost as an aside, the article notes that “The secrecy that enveloped the [AIG] deal was unwarranted” and “could result in criminal or civil charges.”
The rest of the article focuses on SIGTARP and its chairman, Neil Barofsky.
As an example, it discusses how Treasury, in response to demands for those same notorious AIG emails, tried to play a little poker with the new agency. Geithner’s Treasury asked the Justice Department “for a ruling on whether Barofsky and SIGTARP reported to Secretary Geithner.” Barofsky called Turbo Timmy’s bluff — and told the Treasury Secretary he reported only to the President, and not to the head of the department he was investigating. (Treasury then withdrew its request).
That gives you a sense of how SIGTARP operates.
Since Congress authorized the $700 billion in TARP funding in October 2008, the Treasury has committed $489.8 billion, and disbursed $380.3 billion as of the end of Q1 2010. So far, institutions have repaid $180.8 billion.
“SIGTARP has more than 40 agents, including former Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service investigators, who sport blue windbreakers emblazoned with the SIGTARP seal.
In its late-January report, SIGTARP said that the banks rescued by TARP remained “too big to fail.” They still have an incentive to make risky wagers in order to generate the profits that will reward their executives, the report says.”
The full piece is worth a read . . .
Barofsky Says Criminal Charges Possible in Alleged AIG Coverup
Bloomberg, April 28 2010