South Financial Cleared for TARP Funds
The U.S. Treasury gave final approval to a $347 million investment in South Carolina's largest bank, leaving unanswered questions surrounding the generous retirement package awarded to its former CEO.
In late October The South Financial Group (TSFG) announced CEO Mack Whittle was moving up the date of his retirement by two months as it was applying for a federal investment through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, which contains provisions aimed at eliminating golden parachutes.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has written twice to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, asking him to look into the issue, which has also attracted at least two shareholder lawsuits and another letter to Paulson from Rep. Bob Inglis (R., S.C.). Sanford sent the second letter Thursday, asking if Treasury was acting on his request.
"We have yet to receive any formal notification from your office regarding our request," Sanford writes. The letter also was sent to New York Fed Chairman Timothy Geithner, President-elect Barack Obama's appointee to fill Paulson's post. Treasury spokeswoman Jennifer Zuccarelli, who told TheStreet.com Nov. 20 the office was reviewing the governor's letter, did not respond to requests for comment. A call to Andrew Williams, New York Fed spokesman, was also not returned.Whittle said in a letter to Treasury officials last month that he is willing to re-examine his pay package, which is worth at least $12 million. The company received preliminary approval for the $347 million investment on Nov. 14. Whittle's pay package is one of several examples of what critics have charged is loose federal oversight of the TARP. The Government Accountability Office this week released a report arguing that Treasury "has yet to address a number of critical issues."
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV