Allison to head Solyndra probe

By Laurie Bennett

October 29, 2011 at 10:11am

Herbert Allison, the business executive who oversaw the TARP program, will direct an investigation of government loans to energy companies.

The appointment by the Obama administration addresses mounting criticism of the Department of Energy loan guarantees to the now-bankrupt solar company, Solyndra.

Allison’s creds include not only his financial knowledge as former head of Merrill Lynch and TIAA-CREF, but his record of having worked for both major political parties.

He was named by President Bush to lead Fannie Mae when it collapsed in 2008. The following year, the Obama administration nominated him to be assistant Treasury secretary to oversee the bank bailout.

Herbert M. Allison Jr.
Herbert M. Allison Jr.

Now he steps into another controversial, politically charged situation.

The Solyndra loan is under scrutiny not only because of the company’s failure, but because of the possible role played by Stephen Spinner, a DOE consultant who raised money for the Obama campaign. Another campaign fundraiser, George Kaiser, was an investor in Solyndra.

Allison is a member of Muckety’s Top One Percent, more influential than 99 percent of the people we profile. He also ranks in the top percentile according to wealth.

A financial disclosure statement filed with the federal government in 2009 showed that Allison’s assets totalled at least $98 million. (Assets are reported in broad ranges, so net worth could be much higher.)

Five years ago, he paid celebrity couple Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas $25 million for their waterfront mansion in Westport, CT.

A thank you to Pro Publica, for publishing disclosure documents of the Obama administration.

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  • #1.   P. Tylor 10.29.2011

    When Herb Allison becomes CEO of TIAA-CREF, he had the CEO’s annual salary changed from $500,000 to $25,000,000

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