Remember what everyone's favorite boy-wonder and cash carrier said yesterday?
Taking aggressive steps to manage potential conflicts of interest is essential because firms with the relevant financial expertise may also hold assets that become eligible for sale into the TARP. We have asked firms that wish to compete for contracts to disclose their potential conflicts of interest and recommend specific steps to manage those conflicts. Firms are evaluated in part on the extent of those conflicts and their ability to design processes and procedures to manage them that are satisfactory to Treasury. Treasury then conducts its own independent examination to determine the firms' potential conflicts of interest, and to help ensure that the firms have fully disclosed any potential concerns. Treasury will only hire firms when we are confident in our and their ability to manage any conflicts.
Well, put that together with Legg Mason's October 10th 13-G filing showing that they have divested there once massive (12%+) stake in Freddie Mac and it is hard not to imagine that they are clearing conflicts so as to be in a position to accept an imminent award of the coveted (and lucrative) "best friend forever, oh, and TARP asset manager" position.
Legg Mason 13-G Filing [EDGAR]
Interim Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Neel Kashkari Remarks before the Institute of International Bankers [Department of the Treasury]