Less than half a dozen people are responsible for making the final decisions about which banks get part of the $700 billion in bailout money available through the Troubled Asset Relief Program, according to Department of Treasury officials.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request made by the Sunlight Foundation in January for the members of the TARP Investment Committee, a FOIA officer recently responded with just four names, including Assistant Secretary, Neel Kashkari; Chief Investment Officer, James Lambright; Acting Assistant Secretary for Financial Markets, Karthik Ramanathan and Acting Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy, Ralph Monaco, all holdovers from the Bush administration.
Real Time Investigations added that “according to a press release from November, there are two more names on the list: Don McLellan, Capital Purchase Program Manager and Howard Scheitzer, Chief Operating Officer.”
Evidently, part of the problem here is that the Obama administration hasn’t yet named some of its appointees to the TARP Investment Committee. But with TARP funds “running thin,” and the program expanding to include life insurance companies, the administration may want to get around to doing that.