The Sunlight Foundation tracks TALF Borrower connections to some of our biggest banks.
You may recall (or like most of us, you may not) that the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility program was set as a response to the financial crisis to help hedge funds repackage their student, auto, and commercial property loans into more sale-able bonds.
The rub here is that many of the funds that dipped into TALF funds had actually made quite a bit of money riding the downturn, which makes one wonder why they needed bailing out at all. The combination of loose eligibility requirements an the prospect of making use of $70 billion in tax payer dollars to finance their investments was no doubt too tantalizing to pass up.
More disturbing, about half of that $70 million went, indirectly, to seven of the biggget banks: Citigroup, Bank of America, Wachovia, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Discovery and American Express. Perhaps it goes without saying that many of these entities were already significant beneficiaries of the more well know Troubled Asset Relief Program, TARP.
What you see in the data-viz above is a depiction of how the various alternative asset houses that benefitted from TARF funds link back to Bank of America, which was the second largest recipient of TARP funds - $45 billion worth.
Well worth a read of the full Sunlight Foundation piece, which includes a number of well wrought info-graphics that help cut through the acronyms and Wallspeak to show just how taxpayers money was spent.
Posted 3/21/11 @ 9:11 AM