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The same winding mountain road
February 8, 2010 - Mike Maneval
Jack Kelly, writing for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a piece also carried by realclearpolitics.com, relates how, after the passage of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, then-Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson shifted the funding into direct bank investments, arguing the move was necessary to keep lending to small businesses proceeding. But the banks that received the most TARP funding actually cut lending to small businesses by $12.5 bill since last spring.
"Even if TARP saved our financial system from driving off a cliff back in 2008, absent meaningful reform, we are still driving on the same winding mountain road, but this time in a faster car," Neil Barofsky, TARP's inspector general wrote in his most recent quarterly report.
Kelly drives home why he believes we're still on this road more than a year after the end of Paulson's tenure and in the wake of an electoral mandate for reform: Employees of Goldman Sachs, one of the firms at the heart of the market crisis, was the largest private-sector source of contributions for the Obama campaign. As January drew to a close, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, hosted a South Beach retreat for lobbyists, who each paid $30,000 to attend.
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