Monday, January 12, 2009

About Like Ordering a Pizza

Interested in applying for some of that federal bailout money? Mother Jones looked into it.

It turns out that the application for TARP funds is surprisingly simple. Interested parties can find the complete guidelines for the TARP Capital Purchase Program here. The application is just two pages long. As a test, we decided to fill it out. Including the time it took us to explain this project to our chief financial officer, the TARP application took a mere 27 minutes to complete.

Of course only certain organizations are actually eligible.

The CPP is available to bank holding companies, financial holding companies, insured
depository institutions and savings and loan holding companies that engage solely or
predominately in activities that are permissible for financial holding companies under relevant
law.


In other words, given the current state of the mentioned law, just about any sort of moneychanging alchemist with a pulse and a smoldering pile of a balance sheet, as long as the proper schmoozing with the right people at the Treasury Department is done. It was this casual attitude toward finance that contributed to the current mess.