Skip to comments.Bailed Out Citigroup Won’t Rule Out Giving More Money to ACORN
Posted on 01/08/2010 7:43:52 AM PST by jazusamo
In an Oct. 29, 2009 letter to the NLPC, Citigroups Vice President of Global Community Relations Natalie Abatemarco wrote, We too are deeply concerned about the recent media reports regarding ACORN and, because of these reports, have suspended our charitable financial support and program relationships with ACORN, and we are awaiting the results of the independent audit of ACORN activities now underway.
It was also during last fall that Congress voted to cut direct federal funding to the organization, after the hidden-camera videos became public through the online journalism site, BigGovernment.com.
Peter Flaherty, president of the NLPC, said he hoped that shunning ACORN by the big banks was not simply a temporary measure. He also expressed concern that, despite congressional action to cut off funds, ACORN could continue getting tax dollars indirectly through TARP money.
It appears the big TARP recipients have backed off their support of ACORN, Flaherty told CNSNews.com. But Im very concerned it will be reinstated after the negative publicity subsides.
The internal ACORN report that focused narrowly on the undercover videos was done by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshberger, who called for the organization to take nine steps to strengthen its management and oversight structures.
The Harshbarger report states: While some of the advice and counsel given by ACORN employees and volunteers was clearly inappropriate and unprofessional, we did not find a pattern of intentional, illegal conduct by ACORN staff; in fact, there is no evidence that action, illegal or otherwise, was taken by any ACORN employee on behalf of the videographers.
Just for the time being, we are still basically continuing to review materials as far as the internal audit or investigation is concerned. I dont really have any comment beyond that at this stage.
Hurst is referring to the recently concluded investigation by ACORN ally Scott Harshbarger, a former Attorney General of Massachusetts. In response to NLPCs request in September that Citigroup to end its support for ACORN, the bank said that it was awaiting the results of the independent audit of ACORN activities now underway.
As I told CNSNews.com:
The Harshbarger report is a whitewash and limited in scope. So, we are fearful that Citigroup will reinstate support based on this whitewash.
We also asked Citigroup to end the membership of one of its executives, Eric Eves, on the ACORN Advisory Board. On October 29, 2009, Citigroup informed us that Eves had resigned.
Does anyone else think that it was one of the conditions (donating to ACORN) to recieve the bailout?
When you’ve gotten as much support money as Citi has, it’s hard to keep track of everyone you have to bribe and kick-back to.
Even the Rooskies could take lessons from the Chicago bunch...
FReep mail me if you want on/off the list.
It’s more like they sent them here.
The commission appointed by Congress to examine the causes of the financial crisis is to hear testimony Wednesday from the heads of four of the nation's largest banks, as the panel begins a year-long investigation that its chairman described as an effort to figure out "what the heck happened."
Philip Angelides, chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, said he planned to hold a series of public hearings, conduct hundreds of interviews and request or subpoena information from companies and government agencies.
"This is a proxy for the American people, giving them the chance to ask what led this country to the economic precipice," said Angelides, a Democrat who served as California's state treasurer until 2007.
The commission has until Dec. 15 to produce a report. Although legislation to reform financial regulation already is moving through Congress, Angelides said the commission's work remains relevant because more bills are likely to follow and a better understanding of what happened could inform the way laws are enforced.
The commission's vice chairman, William Thomas, a retired Republican congressman from California who once headed the House's tax-writing committee, said the commission would also benefit from its instructions to focus on understanding the crisis rather than providing policy recommendations.
Thomas said commissions that focus on recommendations often bog down in political debates and accomplish little. During a meeting Thursday with Washington Post reporters and editors, both men pointed to the success of the 9/11 Commission as a model for their own work.
"They were looking to say what happened and not what should happen next," Thomas said.
Still, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission faces a number of challenges.
House and Senate leaders, who appointed six Democrats and four Republicans to the commission, allocated $8 million for its work, enough to hire about 50 investigators but "probably less than any of the investment banks will spend dealing with this investigation," Angelides said.
The tight timetable also makes it impossible to produce a comprehensive account of the crisis, both men said. Instead, the commission will focus its work on particular topics, perhaps producing a series of case studies, Angelides said.
Four bank executives are to appear at the first hearing: Jamie Dimon of J.P. Morgan Chase; Lloyd C. Blankfein of Goldman Sachs; Brian Moynihan, the new chief executive at Bank of America; and John Mack, who retired at the end of December as chief executive of Morgan Stanley but remains the company's chairman. The commission did not invite anyone from Citigroup, the other U.S. company with a large investment banking operation.
The next day, the commission is to hear from local and state regulators about ongoing investigations related to the financial crisis.
That is interesting. I never have been a fan of coincidence and for Citigroup to believe that this investigation by Harshbarger was anything but a whitewash is ludicrous.
I see the commission isn’t balanced (6 D and 4 R) and I wonder if they’ll include anything in their final report re Congress insisting on loosening lending so more lower income people and minorities could become homeowners? It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this.
Good post, thanks.