Bank malfeasance (perhaps not), CIT Saved, and a hurrah for Tom Watson
Bank malfeasance (perhaps not)
Per a report by the special insector general of TARP, gasp, the banks used TARP money for more than just making new loans. They invested some of it, repaid debts, and bought other banks. A few things to keep in mind before we pillory these guys:
- This report was based on voluntary responses.
- Treasury official Herbert M. Allison, Jr. brings up a reasonable point when he says: "Although it might be tempting to do so, it is not possible to say that investment of TARP dollars resulted in particular loans, investments or other activities by the recipient,"
- Many of the bank buyouts were done with the encouragement of the government.
- These are complex organizations. They can easily hide what they really did with the TARP money as long as their normal lending is at least as large as their TARP infusions. The other option was treating the troubled banks like the FDIC does failed banks...taking the troubled banks over, stripping out the bad assets, and re-privatizing them (this was popularly and somewhat erroneously called "nationalization").
At least for the time being, thanks to its bondholders...
Lions, Tigers, and Golden Bears
Even though aging lion Tom Watson, former conqueror of the British Open in the Golden Bear era, failed to do so in the Tiger era, he amazed me this week. To finish second at a major at 59 is amazing. I've been trying to think of a great analogy to put this in perspective, but I can't. Let me leave it at this: We all want to see great things...this counts.
-Anand (whose all-time favorite golfer is fellow Ohioan Jack Nicklaus)