Citigroup’s “Cash for Clunkers” Contract Worth $7.7 Million

The U.S. DOT never responded to Streetsblog Capitol Hill’s request for a copy of the contract that Citigroup — which remains one-third-owned by the government after taking a $45 billion bailout — received to process car dealer claims under the "cash for clunkers" program. But Dow Jones did pry loose one key detail on Friday, reporting that the deal is worth "an estimated" $7.7 million.

Given that $2 billion in extra "clunkers" money has been approved since Citigroup began its work, however, it’s reasonable to suspect that the bank is now getting more money to administer the delay-plagued car-purchase rebates.

A DOT spokeswoman "declined to comment on whether the size of the contract has grown" when asked by Dow Jones and declined to produce additional information about the deal, such as any ceiling on contractor hours or total value.

Oracle is also a contractor on the program, snagging a $1.6 million deal to run the website for aspiring auto buyers.

In other "clunkers" news, the advertising bonanza sparked by the taxpayer-funded auto rebates is calming nerves in the media industry, while keeping  Andrew Cuomo busy. The New York attorney general sent cease-and-desist letters today to 40 auto dealers whom he says are misleading car owners on the limitations of the government rebates or marketing separate promotions under the "clunkers" name.

One thing the "clunkers" money is still not doing: providing significant environmental benefits, as a team of analysts from the World Resources Institute, Stanford University, and the University of California – Berkeley outlined in an op-ed presentation for the Washington Post.


Grassley Looking Into Citibank’s Million-Dollar ‘Clunkers’ Deal

Chuck Grassley (IA), the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, today asked the U.S. DOT to answer a question Streetsblog Capitol Hill first wondered about months ago: How did Citibank, the beleaguered recipient of a $45 billion government bailout, snag a contract to administer the Obama administration’s "cash for clunkers" program? Sen. Chuck Grassley […]

As “Cash for Clunkers” Sputters, a Privately Funded Spinoff Picks Up

The U.S. DOT began signaling yesterday that it would bring the "cash for clunkers" program to an end amid growing unease from auto dealers about the government’s slow pace of reimbursement and General Motors’ decision to begin fronting "clunkers" repayments to its own salesmen. (Photo: But with auto-industry forecasters predicting a cool 1 million […]

GAO: Economic Recovery Benefits of ‘Cash for Clunkers’ Are ‘Uncertain’

"Cash for clunkers," the White House’s much-touted program encouraging trade-ins for more fuel-efficient autos, had an "uncertain" impact on economic recovery, according to a new audit from the independent Government Accountability Office (GAO) — largely because it remains unclear how many of the car sales it spurred would have occurred without taxpayer subsidies. Were "clunker" […]