TARP cop cites bailout lobbying

Overseer for bailouts says lawmakers asked regulators to fund banks, but he found no evidence that outside requests influenced decisions.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Jennifer Liberto, CNNMoney.com senior writer

Bailout tracker
Follow the money: Bailout tracker
The government is engaged in a far-reaching - and expensive - effort to rescue the economy. Here's how you can keep tabs on the bailouts. More

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) -- A government investigator overseeing the $700 billion bailout reported on Thursday that outsiders, including some lawmakers, lobbied regulators on behalf of banks seeking money.

"I am writing on behalf of one of my constituents to express my support of their application for assistance and support under the Troubled Asset Relief Program," one lawmaker wrote, according to audit report by Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Barofsky found 56 instances in which outside parties contacted regulators. Of those 56 firms, 16 got bailouts. And three of those 16 companies did not meet standard bailout criteria, but received money after regulators found "mitigating factors" justifying help, according to Barofsky.

The inspector general's report did not disclose the names of the banks examined or the people, including lawmakers, who lobbied on their behalf.

Barofsky said he found no evidence that bailouts were granted because of outside lobbying.

"SIGTARP did not identify any instances of external pressure having undue influence during the application review process," Barofsky wrote.

Still, the report calls on regulators to do more to shine a light on the issue.

Treasury Department staffers told the IG's office that they had received calls from those lobbying for bailout applicants but they didn't document the calls.

The report recommends that Treasury provide a more detailed and cleaner accounting of how each bailout decision maker votes. It also said Treasury and other regulators must maintain better records of talks they have with outside parties trying to lobby about bailouts.

Earlier this year, several news reports said that Reps. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Maxine Waters, D-Calif., reached out to regulators about bailouts for banks. To top of page

They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
10 of the most luxurious airline amenity kits When it comes to in-flight pampering, the amenity kits offered by these 10 airlines are the ultimate in luxury More
7 startups that want to improve your mental health From a text therapy platform to apps that push you reminders to breathe, these self-care startups offer help on a daily basis or in times of need. More
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.