Wednesday, February 04, 2009

TARP recipients spent $114 mil on lobbying and

campaign contributions and got $295 billion in return. Not too shabby.

WASHINGTON--(This release has been corrected to reflect that Bank of America has received $45 billion, not $55 billion, from the TARP program. The $45 billion includes $10 billion that Merrill Lynch received before being acquired by Bank of America. An earlier version of this release incorrectly added Merrill Lynch's $10 billion to Bank of America's $45 billion. Adjustments to the figures in the original release are in bold below.) The struggling companies whose freewheeling business practices have contributed to the country's economic woes are getting a lucrative return on at least one of their investments. Beneficiaries of the $700 billion bailout package in the finance and automotive industries have spent a total of $114.2 million on lobbying in the past year and contributions toward the 2008 election, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics has found. The companies' political activities have, in part, yielded them $295.2 billion from the federal government's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), an extraordinary return of 258,449 percent.