If you’re following the TARP debacle, there’s an interesting post at NRO.  TARP Looking More Criminal by the Minute

The issue of TARP corruption may now extend from corporate CEOs and federal regulators to New York’s attorney general.

Speaking of the current investigations, the author wonders what sort of public corruption is being investigated:

It’s easy to guess that Barofsky is looking into the possibility that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson coerced the CEOs of the nine largest banks to accept capital investments from TARP, even though several of them didn’t want the government as a stakeholder. Wells Fargo chairman Richard Kovacevich, for example, says that he was “forced to take the TARP money.” Philip Swagel, who served at the time as assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury, admits that “there is no authority in the United States to force a private institution to accept government capital. This is a hard legal constraint.”

…But then again, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, the statute that authorizes TARP, doesn’t give the Treasury the power to make direct investments in banks at all. It gives the Treasury the power to buy troubled assets and to write insurance against losses in troubled assets. But there’s not one single solitary word in the act that authorizes the Treasury to buy stock in banks.

And there’s not one single solitary word in the act that authorizes the Treasury to do anything at all for auto companies like General Motors and Chrysler. The act only authorizes helping “financial institutions.” Yet billions of TARP dollars have gone to the two automakers.

About NY Attorney General Cuomo:

…It would appear that Cuomo may have significantly misrepresented Lewis’s testimony by claiming that he “would have” disclosed the Merrill loss “but for the intervention of the Treasury Department,” since by Lewis’s own testimony the Treasury’s intervention wasn’t even on this subject. And Cuomo appears to mislead Congress when he says that Paulson “informed this office” — as though by way of clearing himself of culpability — of the very thing that Lewis himself already said.

If true, this is serious prosecutorial misconduct, very much in the mold of Cuomo’s predecessor Eliot Spitzer. The strategy seems to be to try the case in the media — which can be relied upon to uncritically carry the prosecutor’s message, as indeed the Wall Street Journal already has done  — and to avoid the rigors of an actual courtroom, in which the accused will have the opportunity to defend himself.

Much more at the link.

An effective Tea Party movement looks more important than ever.

H/T Instapundit

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