reply to post by Britguy
Its a whole lot more complicated than the records that are governed by Sarbanes/Oxley, which are maintained by a specific corporation. The same
thing goes about e-mails, third party data centers and service providers, but in the realm of financial data, there is an entirely different change of
custody of that data as well.
The banks presumably needed the cash to make good on their money market funds and maintain the counterparty chain, the failure of the counterparty
chain is what brought Lehman down. Firms don't simply add cash to their money market fund to meet obligations, they have to place them into the
actual fund. To do that requires the use of a transfer agent. The value of the fund (whether or not an individual share is worth $1 is done by a
custodian bank, not the bank who manages the fund). When redemptions come in on the fund, the custodian bank is responsible for managing the value of
the fund and submits requests for cash to the bank so that the $1/share can be maintained.
To the extent that the bank receiving the TARP used those funds to speculate in the market rather than shore up their balance sheet, those records
would also be on record with the custodian bank, again who manages the portfolios.
Obviously the transfer agent and custodian have rigorous records retention policys.
All (pretty much all) financial data transfers are executed via the SWIFT network which is an internationally managed, secure data transfer network.
SWIFT is headquartered in Belguim. Any and all of these transfers of funds would have SWIFT records.
All of the custodian banks are global banks. State Street, Brown Brothers Harriman, Mellon. To the extent that they engaged in a cover-up of this
nature would destroy their firms. Again, there is no way to destroy the evidence here - there are simply too many links in the chain and only one
needs to stand tall and it would be quite easy to back up or move forward on the chain to get to the truth.
I've spent 25 years in this business and can tell you that unless these banks took the cash, held it in their cash account and went outside of the
system, a simple records request from either/all the bank in question, the transfer agent, custodian bank or SWIFT would lead to the details being
uncovered. There is no way that these banks could use the current chain of custody in place and not leave records all over the place and these dudes
were not walking around with trash bags of cash. The money was wired into their cash accounts and what was done once it got there will be easy to
determine. What also will be easy to determine is the status of their money market funds and overall balance sheets at the time they received the
cash, telling us if they needed the cash at all.
I suspect what happened here is that there were are few banks/insurance companies that were in trouble. They took that as an excuse to create a
massive bailout so that they could give cash to banks with ties to the government who did not need it, so that they could take advantage of what
amounted to essentially free money. Another key motivator was that by giving them the money the banks would come under increased scrutiny by the
government, something the statists in the government want and have always wanted. Remember that this was all done over the span of a few days -- it
was not well thought out. Also remember that Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan/Chase went on the record at the time and indicated that he wanted no part
of it. Did not want the money, did not need the money. The government told him he had to take it and that they would have to keep it for a
specified time. The day that time expired, JP Morgan sent the full amount back to the government.
Right now there are attorneys at Treasury looking to come at this again from another legal angle.