Commentary on fraud, scams, scandals, and court cases.

More TARP secrecy

Remember when the leaders of this whole Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) promised us that the spending of our 20 gajillion taxpayer dollars would be “transparent”???? Transparent apparently is synonymous with the word “secret” in their world.

How many ways can our government be un-transparent? Contracts with professional services firms providing services related to TARP have had key numbers redacted. This has included the contracts with Bank of New York Mellon Corp, law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC).

The latest secret contract is with law firm Thacher Proffitt & Wood. The contract period extends through June 9, 2009, and the firm will be providing advice related to the purchase of asset-backed securities, and will help negotiate terms and draft contracts. The contract guarantees a minimum of 100 hours of work, and a maximum of 1,300 hours of work. The Treasury reports that the total amount paid to Thacher Proffitt under this contract will not exceed $500,000.

Rates for associates and partners are redacted. It is incomprehensible to me that taxpayers are not allowed to know how much they’re paying for services rendered under these contracts. What we know is this: $500,000 over 1,300 hours would equal an hourly rate of $384.  I’d like more information please.

One comment

  1. Victoria

    Hi, Tracy. There was an article in our newspaper today that banks cannot or will not account for the bailout money they have received. Some claim that it is impossible to track that money. Is this true? Are they really not able to track this money, or do they just not want anyone to know what exactly they are doing? If so, I believe the taxpayers should have been made aware before the bailout that there would be this lack of accountability. I am amazed that, when I file taxes, I have to detail my deductions or risk an audit, but these companies can make these claims without reprisal.

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