Database firms could benefit from House bill

Carolyn MaloneyThe House yesterday unanimously passed a bill aiming to create a giant database to track data filed by companies that received bailout funds, and database firms could reap the rewards.

The bill, sponsored by Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)--pictured here--and Peter King (R-NY), also requires the Treasury Department to create a real-time, Web-accessible database system that combines government data with information collected by corporations, news organizations and analysts.

Maloney said she's been concerned about the lack of transparency surrounding how companies are using bailout money. Even though some Wall Street firms are already in the process of paying the money back to the government, she says the database will still provide a public service.

“We can track where any UPS package is at any time of day,” Maloney told Hillicon Valley. “Why in the world can’t we track this information?”

The legislation has, for the most part, gone unnoticed and passed with little fanfare. But it could potentially lead to big contracts that could be a boon for database companies hoping to provide the technology to power such a system.

Dow Jones & Co., IBM and SAS Institute have all lobbied on the bill, and small Ohio-based firm Teradata acted as a technical advisor to Maloney. The firm spent $510,000 lobbying this year, largely on this issue.

For more details on the financial data-tracking technology, take a look at this story that ran in yesterday's paper.