Someone Finally Goes to Jail Behind TARP

Ever since the crisis arose in 2008, a familiar lament has been how there is no real accountability and no one has gone to prison for tanking the economy. And it's true; by the standards of the S&L crisis - where hundreds of bankers went to prison - prosecutions thus far have been few and far between. But that doesn't mean there haven't been any. And SIGTARP is just getting warmed up.

A bank executive in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia was sentenced to 23 years in federal prison. Another from Orlando received eight years. In Stockbridge, Ga., a top bank officer is serving 12 years.

At a time when the government is being criticized for not holding senior bank executives liable for crisis-era crimes, a little-known federal agency is compiling a growing list of criminal convictions.

What's SIGTARP, you ask? It's the office set up to root out TARP fraud in the wake of the crisis, and based on the numbers they've thrown up so far, there's been a lot of it. Sure, they've concentrated on the little guys like community banks up to now, but how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Liz Warren Is WINNING the Internet

Say what you will about Liz Warren, she knows how to give the feckless bank regulators hell on camera. It’s kinda funny that a Senate hearing is blowing up on YouTube, but here we are. It's hilarious how not one bank regulator can cite a single case of a Wall Street bank being brought to trial. It’s no secret that I have a lot of respect and admiration for Warren, which I realize is not a popular opinion on Wall Street. But you have to give credit where credit is due, and she’s definitely a bigger asset on the Senate Banking Committee than we’ve seen in a long time. Give 'em hell, Doc:

What Is The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)?

The TARP – or Troubled Asset Relief Program – was a government action in 2008 aimed at stabilizing the financial markets and US banks. The program was pioneered by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson after the collapse of Lehman Brothers and AIG and the near collapse of other investment banks such as Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs.


bb tarp

the banksx paid back the tarp money with interest. That isn't a bailout that's an invesment.

The Carlyle IPO: Long Time Coming

For a company with close to $100 billion AUM and a legacy which spanned Wall Street’s most profitable decades, Carlyle is flying mighty low beneath the radar these days. After several false starts, the Carlyle IPO seems back on track and set for a Q3 kick off.

Too Big to Fail Movie Review

Just a forum to post what you thought of the movie. I thought it was pretty good..

Neil Barofsky: TARP = "a colossal failure"

In this succinct yet striking article, Neil M. Barofsky, the special inspector general for TARP from 2008 until today shares his perspective on the bank bailout. He calls it a failure.

I've added about half of the article here, read the whole thing though as I cut some bits out. What do you think of this? Does the fact that banks now plan on governmental support in future crises signify any shift in the way banking will now be done? Should credit rating agencies even be including this in their analysis? How drastic a failure was this for Main Street compared to the windfall Wall Street enjoyed?

It's a Sad Day for TARP - Barofsky Resigns from IG of SIGTARP

Well, for those of you that haven't already read the news, Neil Barofsky, Inspector General of SIGTARP is stepping down. I've enclosed the resignation letter for all to see, as it's an interesting read, particularly when you consider that Barofsky was awarded full immunity from everyone when it came being able to do as he pleased in order to do his job.

NYTimes Articles on Wall Street's Direction

An interesting article in today's NY Times about how banks have deviated from their core mission of lending money to productive industries and services and how activity inside investment banks (particular the trading floors) has taken very much a daily small-term trading strategy over longer term views of the overall business and effects they're having.

A few funny references to Kobe Bryant...

"The series of events leading up to near economic collapse have shown Wall Street traders and bankers to be essentially knights of self-interest — bad Kobe Bryants."