Capital Markets

Depends on Your Definition of Transparent

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Last week, I noted that despite assurances from Treasury officials that the bailout largess would be distributed in a transparent, accountable manner, one of the first big contracts awarded by the federal government, to the Bank of New York Mellon, had the actual amount of money to be paid to the bank redacted before the contract was made public.

The new website BailoutSleuth now reports that subsequent bailout contracts to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, and the law firm Simpson, Thatcher & Bartlett were also posted with significant information redacted.

No matter what happens to the economy, it looks like business and finance journalists will have plenty of job security over the next couple of years, if for no other reason than to track how the government spends all of this money.  I'd expect debacles at least on par with the awarding of contracts in Iraq and after Hurricane Katrina.

NEXT: The War of the Worlds That Wasn't

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  1. Wrong thinking is punishable; right thinking will be as quickly rewarded.

  2. Good work, if you can get it. Ah, the good would not even seek such work-they leave that to the rent seeking scum.

  3. “it looks like business and finance journalists will have plenty of job security over the next couple of years”

    Only if the media will show any interest in the doings of the next administration.
    Judging by ongoing reporting of the campaigns, guaranteed microdisection of a president McCain, profuse shilling if the next president is Obama.

  4. Transparent: When you dad doesn’t want to be a guy anymore. And your mommy cries a lot.

  5. If there’s one thing the market loves, it’s government handing out unknown chunks of cash to institutions it favors for mysterious reasons.

    Oh wait… It actually hates that. DOW 6500 by new years. Remember you heard it here first.

    doom
    Dooom
    DOOOOM

  6. Should I put a tinfoil hat on before contemplating the American taxpayer bailing out the world?

    If oil prices stay down I’m sure Venezuela can use the help.We should support the progressives in our own hemisphere first.

  7. there you go SIV – give venezuela their money back – for the childrens sake…

  8. The market fluctuations did not shake my faith in Wall St.’s long term potential. However, the new level of government interference has made me start looking at other avenues for investment.

  9. I read about a new stock exchange in Kansas City called BATS in a Newsweek article (it was at the doc’s office). Would it be insulated from this mess by being too new to have the government connections that will guide these bailouts?

  10. Can we just rename the LP to the “I told you so” Party?

  11. DOW 6500 by new years

    My guess is 10,286. If I had any money I’d be buying big-time right now.

  12. Can we just rename the LP to the “I told you so” Party?

    I humbly submit The Cassandrarian Party.

  13. Only if the media will show any interest in the doings of the next administration.
    Judging by ongoing reporting of the campaigns, guaranteed microdisection of a president McCain, profuse shilling if the next president is Obama.

    I had hoped that I would only need to post this once. I was wrong.

    The media love affair with Obama* will end on Jan 20, 2009. Do you have a long term memory disability? Are you still in your teens? Those are the only two forgivable reasons for believing that the media will give this POTUS a pass.

  14. * Such as it is. Mrdia, being plural is not a monolith. Yeah, TV and newspapers tilt towards Obama. If you’ll recall, they tilted against Reagan twice. Almost stopped hin from getting re-elected in a landslide, didn’t it? Such is life in the big city.

  15. Don’t count on it. The media will be too busy analyzing what other ways in which the American economy might be socialized.
    Do you think they are going to worry their pretty heads about the intricacies of some financial bailout? Do any of them even have the economic background to do so?

  16. BONY-Mellon getting the dough must be proof of The Hamiltonian Conspiracy, right?

    Kevin

  17. FWIW, I’ve worked for government contractors, and bidding documents often have people’s names redacted. I never understood why, but I assumed it’s some sort of bidding rule, so the judges will be less likely to favor friends or something. Seems silly, but it’s not unusual. A reporter’s call to the company’s PR department could probably get the names.

  18. I’d expect debacles at least on par with the awarding of contracts in Iraq and after Hurricane Katrina.

    IOW, government as usual.

  19. J sub D:

    Nope, way, way past my teens. Long term memory still seems ok. So, please remind me. When did the MSM ever go to the present level of fawning, deliberately suppressing news {remember the Edwards shenanigans/non story, even though that’s short term memory intensive?) in favour of a particular candidate/party, deliberately going after people instead of following the issues (Palin, Joe the plumber)and so on. When did the media ever then turn 180 degrees after the election and started really reporting after the fact? What reason do you have to think they will do so?? Sorry I forced you to post more than once, please point me to your previous musings.

  20. I’d expect debacles at least on par with the awarding of contracts in Iraq and after Hurricane Katrina.

    I remember the bullshit contracting and the screaming, but I don’t remember if anyone ever actually got his balls in a vice. Was there any payback at all on anyone other than having their names in the paper?

  21. Was there any payback at all on anyone other than having their names in the paper?

    Seeing as the first reaction was that Bushitler was letting millions of po’ blacks die from federal neglect, nobody was in much of a position to suddenly start complaining that the Federal Money Faucet had been cranked wide open with few controls.

    And seeing as the flip-side of Katrina response debacle was the usual crew of crooks in Louisiana going about business as usual, nobody could report on that without encountering the possibility that just maybe much of what went wrong in New Orleans was the fault of state and local crooks and incompetents, rather than a Rovian ethnic cleansing plot.

    So, no, there was no payback. It would have called the Sacred Narrative into question.

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