When the Trump administration does something stupefying or mystifying, which is essentially to say when it does anything, it can almost always be attributed to venality or incompetence (or, usually, some combination of the two). As to the matter of turning failing industrial dinosaur Kodak into a producer of ingredients for generic drugs, such as the president’s preferred variety of coronavirus snake oil, with three-quarters of a billion tax dollars, which was properly shelved but not before Kodak could (mistakenly, it swears) tell some local reporters about it and induce hordes of thirsty and bored Barstool listeners to bid up its share price an enormous amount to the general enrichment of all involved save said day traders, that definitely falls into the latter category, officially, anyway.
The DFC’s inspector general, Anthony Zakel, said he found no evidence that employees of the agency had any conflicts of interest in the plans, nor did he find “any evidence of misconduct on the part of DFC officials….”
He found it reasonable for the DFC to consider Kodak for the loan, noting other companies’ recent pivots to Covid-19 supply-chain manufacturing and Kodak’s experience providing materials to the pharmaceutical industry.
“The record is abundantly clear and the independent IG review confirms that DFC followed its standard process, under its standard timeline, driven by career finance professionals,” a DFC spokesman said.
Does that mean that everything was on the up-and-up and there’s absolutely no malfeasance or insider-trading or other funny stuff going on? Honestly, Zakel couldn’t care less, as his job was to make like Kodak and pronounce his own house in order. Anything else is very much someone else’s problem, Sen. Warren.
“We focused our review on issues within DFC [office of the inspector general’s] purview and authority,” Mr. Zakel said. “We did not review conduct by Kodak or non-DFC personnel.”
Still, you know, maybe in the future his agency could do a slightly better job of at least holding down the appearance of impropriety, if not the screaming incompetence which, at any rate, should improve markedly once Peter Navarro begins filing for unemployment on Jan. 20.
The DFC inspector general said his office is planning future audits of the agency’s projects under the Defense Production Act, including how the agency announces “market-sensitive” transactions involving publicly traded companies.