25 September 2008

Bipartisan Senator Group Calls for Special Investigator to Oversee Bailout Operations

This could be useless smoke, or it could have some teeth and be useful.

If this position was filled by Eliot Spitzer it might be interesting, maybe for no pay as a community service deal. He would surely be up for that. Payback is a bitch after all. Probably a little outré for Washington.

Maybe George Soros, Nouriel Roubini, or Paul Krugman? No their knuckles are not hairy enough for this task. Karl Denninger of Tickerforum or Gata's Bill Murphy could do it if they had strong staff support. There would not be a bank left unscathed after they hit their stride. The press briefings would be fun.

The most significant talent for a Special Inspector General in addition to being able to build and organize a large administrative problem with loads of special influence-peddling interference would be to sniff out fraud and roll the small fry over on the heavy hitters.

The Senate would probably want to consider someone NOT nominated by short-timer Bush. As they say in boxing that nominee would be a 'tomato.' Someone like Tom Kean, Rudy Giuliani or Phil Gramm. Hey, Sara Palin is a reformer and knows finance; she has a checkbook.

It would best be someone with significant experience in RICO investigations and a serious lack of sympathy for Wall Street, but with a familiarity with their methods and a spotless reputation.

Does such a person exist?

RTT Global Financial News
32 Senators Call For Creation Of Special Investigator General To Oversee Bailout

9/25/2008 3:50 PM ET

(RTTNews) - A bipartisan group of 32 senators is calling for a special auditor for any federal bailout program for financial institutions.

The group, led by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., says a special investigator general for the program would be an important step to preventing waste, fraud and abuse.

In a letter to House and Senate leaders of both parties, the 32 senators said the program should be modeled after the Special Investigator General investigating problems in Iraqi reconstruction efforts.

"But this Special Treasury Inspector General would be on the job long before waste, fraud, and abuse has a chance to take hold in the Treasury program," they said in the letter. "Proper oversight will require not only our constant effort, but the full time attention of an office with only one task: to monitor this extremely complex effort with a team of expert personnel who will not be distracted by other duties."

The letter calls for the new IG to be nominated within 30 days of approval of a bailout plan and demands that the inspector have full power to investigate, audit and issue subpoenas.

"I don't like bailouts, and I certainly wasn't okay with the blank-check request that first came to Congress from the Treasury. If Congress does pass legislation - and I will have to look at it closely - creating a Special Inspector General will make any program more accountable to taxpayers," Baucus said in a statement.