Why’d He Even Need to Ask?

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The level of transparency is so bad with the TARP program (and most of the rest of the what the Treasury is doing), that sometimes a new big new piece of information will get pried loose and it’s something that I hadn’t even realized wasn’t available already. As a case in point, Sen. Levin (D-MI) just put out a press release announcing that the Treasury has agreed to release the contracts for the massive amounts of TARP money the Treasury gave invested in banks like Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, et al.

He’d been threatening a subpoena but they’ve now agreed to cough them up.

From Levin’s press release …

“The Department of Treasury assured me today that there will be no need to serve a subpoena, because they will provide the documents I have requested, beginning tomorrow,” said Levin. “It should not have taken two months and a subpoena threat, but I — along with Senator Susan Collins who supports obtaining these documents — look forward to receiving the documents this week.”

The Treasury Department has agreed to provide copies of the TARP contracts issued to ten companies: AIG, Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, State Street Corporation, and Wells Fargo.

It’s astonishing to me that there’d even be a question about releasing this stuff.

Late Update: Two further points. BailoutSleuth has information on the related issue of the contracts the Treasury has with the firms who are administering the TARP money. A big deal in itself, though obviously the amount public money in play is an order of magnitude smaller. Also, the AIG was not part of TARP proper, but a one-off deal the Treasury put together before the TARP-spawning Wall Street Gotterdammerung.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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