Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Stimulus will ramp up in Mass.. TARP funds being paid back?

Some positive news from the White House... Obama wants to cut the red tape and save or create 600,000 jobs. We in Mass can hopefully look forward to spending wisely 15 million on highway work all over the State, repairs of air fields a new sewage treatment plant etc etc, and 25 million for youth summer jobs. In the bigger picture, money will go to fund 135 education jobs, 5,000 new cops, 200 rural waste and water treatment, improvements in 90 VA centers and 20 Superfund clean up sites. I think what is holding States from getting this money, may not be Washington itself, but the States inability to get these funds under the current government guidelines. All these funds have to be keep track of and I'll bet, even our State (our own stimulus czar) has not yet figured out how to do anything with the money, that doesn't take on unethcial behavior, in terms of the open bid process or other rational accounting standards. Remember, Deval is off and running and he certainly wants to claim as much credit for the stimulus money as he can and the feds may have made it difficult for Deval to use this money to his advantage.

On a side note, Lobbyists from about 60 Mass companies have increased spending at the White House for the first three months of this year. First Wind spent 120,000, Raytheon spent 1.36 million, Mass Mutual Life Insurance spent 790,00, Sepracor spent 1.3 million, State Street Bank spent 210,000 (recipients of Trap money) and our old buddy Josh Boger at Vertex spent 180,000 along with the other 55 companies who have spent money on lobbyists.

And 10 banks have applied to return 65 billion or so in TRAP loans... and they say we made a few bucks on the interest. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but the truth seems to be, that these big freaking money pits don't want the pay restrictions that the TARP money comes with. I guess it s good to see some of the big players passing the stress tests, whatever they are, but Citi seems to be the one that didn't pass... seems like they may have more trouble.


At June 10, 2009 at 9:00 AM , Blogger Eric said...

If these 10 banks want to return the money, then clearly, they were not in desparate financial need in the first place or they could not afford to return it. So, how did they get this TARP money if they were not on the verge of going under? This was suppose to be money to shore up businesses that would go under without help, and we could not let them go under or it would bring the economy down even more. Sounds like someone was playing with numbers to get that TARP funding in the first place. This is starting to smell pretty fishy to me.

At June 10, 2009 at 10:02 AM , Blogger Anderson said...

Pretty sad commentary on the state of local governments (state governments) when they can not even figure out how to get money that has been awarded to them. Seems like all they have to do is be honest, ethical, and business like, and here in MA, we can not even figure out how to do that in order to get more than $40 million. Geez, seriously people, doesn’t that make you at least a little bit angry? $25 million for youth summer jobs is not going to do us much good if we can not get the money until December. I know global warming is here, but I still am pretty sure summer vacation goes from June – August and that is when kids need jobs. We are in mid-June now. How much longer are they going to mess around with this? Seems to me the stimulus czar is failing miserably in his position. If he can’t do the job, how do we get someone that can before all the money is gone and we here in MA lose out?

At June 10, 2009 at 10:49 AM , Blogger Old soldier said...

How much faith do you have in these stress tests for banks when it looks like we gave money to banks that did not even need it since they are now returning it? Same people who decided who to give the money to are deciding what banks pass the stress test, right? They have already shown they are not very good at this, so lets give them more power to mess more things up and cost us even more money.

At June 10, 2009 at 11:31 AM , Blogger Fred J. said...

I think if Deval had his way, that stimulus money would go into his campaign funds chest. I had high hopes for him, but he has failed miserably in sustaining those hopes. I keep thinking if he really wants to get re-elected, he is going to have to listen to the voters and clean up his act. But in reality, in this state, he probably can get away with questionable behavior and still get elected again. I see dismal years ahead for us here in this state if things don’t change drastically.

At June 10, 2009 at 1:37 PM , Blogger Derek said...

I wish some of these banks would go under, especially Citi. I owe them lots of money I can not afford to pay off, so if they go under, then I don’t have to worry about paying it back, right? Only kidding of course, although I wish that were true. What happens to Citi since it did not pass the stress test, does anyone know the answer to that question? Jim, your thoughts?

At June 10, 2009 at 3:45 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

They say, some 60 banks will go under this year. Citi and BofAmerica are having trouble still with to many bad assets. I wouldn't be surprised if Obama's team lets them sell off the good parts and take the hit on the losses,like AIG.

And through it all, there seems to be optimism in the market. 65 billion paid back from banks is not bad, when you think of the billions the car companies got, with little chance of getting that money back anytime soon.

The price of oil may be more of a factor this summer, which could drive up inflation and higher mortgage rates.

All we know for sure is, stimulus money is around and it needs to be used in ethical ways to help get some of our neighbors back to work.

At June 10, 2009 at 3:56 PM , Blogger Abra said...

Where do companies get this mone to spend on lobbyists in the first place? State Street got TARP money, but they have $210,000 to spend on lobbying? Are they allowed to spend TARP money on lobbyists?

At June 10, 2009 at 4:15 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Now there's the billion dollar question Abra... but as I understand it, the Feds only requirement was to NOT spend it on huge bonuses and salaries. Nowhere have I heard of any objection from Congress on that issue, but most of us would say it's not right to use tax payer money to hire lobbyists.


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