How to Tell if Your Company Got Some TARP

The very funny signs of a company operating with bailout cash.


A lack of transparency in the use of government's TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) rescue money has rankled taxpayers. Good news then that Neil Barofsky at the Treasury Department is "preparing to ask every bank and company that's received a dollar from the $700 billion financial rescue to detail how the funds were used," the Washington Post reports. The banks and companies will get 30 days to comply and Barofsky can subpeona those who haven't been sufficiently open.

While awaiting the official TARP details, rankled taxpayers may find welcome comic relief in Anita Bruzzese's blog today-- " 8 Signs Your Government May Have Received Bailout Money."

Here are a couple:

5. Company memo says that while the holiday party for employees was canceled because of costs, the executives will be traveling to Paris for a Valentine's Day getaway with significant others. The stress has been brutal on families, the memo notes, and the execs need some "snuggle bunny" time.

6. Cirque du Soleil has been hired to do the window washing. Management says the former washers "lacked synergy."

If only Bruzzese were way off track. The Wall Street Journal reports today that TARP-takers haven't slowed their lobbying in Washington: GM spent $3.3 million on lobbying in the fourth quarter--right about the time they got $13.4 billion in TARP funds to keep their business above water-- and Merrill Lynch also spent $1.2 million on lobbying over the last two quarters, according to the WSJ.


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