Ta da! The 100 worst stimulus projects


From Senator Tom Coburn’s Office comes this list of the 100 worst stimulus projects.

While there’s plenty of waste to go around, here are a handful of boondoggles close to home:

  • The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources will spent $1.7 million to grow oysters. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources hopes to restore 15 acres of oyster reefs with a $1.7 million federal stimulus grant.
  • Washington, North Carolina, is using stimulus funds to pay for “project-funding manager” whose job it is to secure even more stimulus funds. The City hopes to pay the new “project funding manager” to identify available Stimulus money using a $40,234 grant from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program which, in turn, received funding through the stimulus bill.
  • Summerfield, North Carolina, gets stimulus money for a parking lot. The town of Summerfield may get $300,000 in federal stimulus funds to build a parking lot, despite the project already being in the town’s regular budget. “The way I looked at it is it didn’t really matter how you felt about the stimulus package, which is a reality,” says Town Manager Michael Brandt. “I thought we might as well seek some benefit … If I don’t go for it, somebody else will.” Mayor Mark Brown concluded, “I think the stimulus money becoming available to aid the Summerfield Rail Trail parking problem is fabulous and unexpected.”

If nothing else, this sort of foolishness does serve to stimulate anger and frustration over misuse of taxpayer dollars, doesn’t it?

(Hat tip: Coyote Blog)


TSFG to dilute stock to raise money


The South Financial Group plans to dilute its stock in hopes of raising between $300 million-$315 million to shore up its capital position through a public offering, private and public equity exchange offers, and other steps, according to The Associated Press.

The Greenville, SC-based financial services company’s plan includes a privately negotiated exchange with two investors holding $94.5 million of mandatory convertible preferred stock. Those investors would be awarded a new series of preferred stock that will be converted into about 24 million shares of common stock if shareholders approve, according to The Associated Press.

That exchange hinges on completion of another element of the plan, a $75 million public offering of common stock.

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