We Need A Congressional Investigation Of Obama’s Chicago Style TARP Tactics
If this story in the Wall Street Journal is true, then it’s an abuse of power that needs to be addressed at the highest levels of Congress,
I must be naive. I really thought the administration would welcome the return of bank bailout money. Some $340 million in TARP cash flowed back this week from four small banks in Louisiana, New York, Indiana and California. This isn’t much when we routinely talk in trillions, but clearly that money has not been wasted or otherwise sunk down Wall Street’s black hole. So why no cheering as the cash comes back?
My answer: The government wants to control the banks, just as it now controls GM and Chrysler, and will surely control the health industry in the not-too-distant future. Keeping them TARP-stuffed is the key to control. And for this intensely political president, mere influence is not enough. The White House wants to tell ’em what to do. Control. Direct. Command.
…If the banks are forced to keep TARP cash — which was often forced on them in the first place — the Obama team can work its will on the financial system to unprecedented degree. That’s what’s happening right now.
Here’s a true story first reported by my Fox News colleague Andrew Napolitano (with the names and some details obscured to prevent retaliation). Under the Bush team a prominent and profitable bank, under threat of a damaging public audit, was forced to accept less than $1 billion of TARP money. The government insisted on buying a new class of preferred stock which gave it a tiny, minority position. The money flowed to the bank. Arguably, back then, the Bush administration was acting for purely economic reasons. It wanted to recapitalize the banks to halt a financial panic.
Fast forward to today, and that same bank is begging to give the money back. The chairman offers to write a check, now, with interest. He’s been sitting on the cash for months and has felt the dead hand of government threatening to run his business and dictate pay scales. He sees the writing on the wall and he wants out. But the Obama team says no, since unlike the smaller banks that gave their TARP money back, this bank is far more prominent. The bank has also been threatened with “adverse” consequences if its chairman persists. That’s politics talking, not economics.
The idea that members of the Obama Administration would force a bank to hold on to over almost a billion dollars in not just unneeded — but unwanted — taxpayer money, all for purely political purposes is outrageous.
If it’s true, the person responsible needs to be fired. Additionally, if it’s true, we need to know what Barack Obama knew about this. If he’s engaged in this sort of unethical activity with taxpayer funds, then we need to seriously consider whether that merits impeachment.
Republicans need to call for Congressional hearings to determine if this story is true or not. They need to subpoena that bank chairman and get the responsible members of the Obama administration under oath so we can get to the truth of this matter and find out what Barack Obama knew and when he knew it.
This is not a Banana Republic and no one, even Barack Obama, should be allowed to play these sort of corrupt Chicago style games with people’s lives or our money.