Report Urges Congress to Pull the Plug on Failed Government Lending Agency

A new report by the Competitive Enterprise Institute urges Congress to allow the charter for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to simply expire at the end of September. From wasting taxpayer money on the politically well-connected to ineffective job creation policies, the report lists the many reasons why it's time to pull the plug on OPIC.

"OPIC is a government agency that's supposed to help economic and job creation in developing countries, but instead it uses taxpayer money to benefit a select list of politically favored corporations and money-losing green energy interests," said CEI fellow Ryan Young, author of The Case Against the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

According to the agency's own publicly available data, the top 10 list of its beneficiaries capture nearly 90 percent of its business in some years. And more than 40 percent of OPIC’s business goes to a single industry — renewable energy. Examples of OPIC financing include JPMorgan Chase & Co., which got $75 million in financing last year, and the Virgin Green Fund owned by Richard Branson (est. net worth $5 billion), which got $100 million.

"Since its 1971 founding, OPIC has invested $200 billion to support 278,000 jobs–that's $719,000 per job," said Young. "Surely there are less expensive ways to support jobs. OPIC is supposed to help the world's poor, but in practice it mostly helps large, politically connected companies."

The report urges Congress to not only let the OPIC charter expire but also to start putting sunset dates on more agencies, so both lawmakers and taxpayers have a better chance to reevaluate their impact and usefulness.

> View the report, The Case Against the Overseas Private Investment Corporation