Where did all the TARP funds go?
About: Troubled Assets Relief Program - Wikipedia
Management of the $700 billion (£496 billion) bailout of financial institutions is, for instance, still being handled by Neel Kashkari, a Bush administration official who is likely to be replaced. Both Mr Geithner and the White House have indicated that nominations to fill top Treasury posts are in the pipeline. But an enhanced vetting process " introduced after Tom Daschle was forced to withdraw from consideration as Health Secretary after disclosures of unpaid taxes " is causing severe delays.
Flush the government not money!
But "without a clearer explanation" about parts of the program, "it is not possible to exercise meaningful oversight over Treasury's actions," said Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard Law School professor who leads a special congressional oversight panel monitoring the TARP program. Her comments came in a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the bailout program.
Noting that TARP passed Congress six months ago, Warren said that her group has repeatedly called on the Treasury Department to provide a clear strategy for the program " and that "the absence of such a vision hampers effective oversight."
4/2 25--billion$$ here, 25 billion there - pretty soon we're talking about real money. The treasury secretary who couldn't balance his own income taxes with TuboTax differs from the GAO by at least 25 billion in how much is still in the TARP fund today.
- bush bashing
Under a typical transaction, for every $100 in soured mortgages being purchased from banks, the private sector would put up $7 and that would be matched by $7 from the government. The remaining $86 would be covered by a government loan provided in many cases by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Geithner defended the decision to have the government carry so much of the risk. He said the alternative would have been to do nothing and risk a more prolonged recession or have the government carry all of the risk.
... The secretary announced the initiative in a Treasury Department room ...
See you missed this question because of the static in the air: "What free market economists should love about pppip is that it leverages the tax payers money and matches our investment with private capital. It also uses the free market to price these assets - the pricing of these assets has been the problem from the start. So we, the taxpayer, are getting far more bang for the buck than had we just purchaced these assets outright." The question raised is whether that is true or not? To find out we need to delve into the details of that plan. Talking about Bush, Polosi, and the punitive tax on the bonuses has no bearing on that ppip plan or for that matter on where the TARP money went.
“I hope the bill will pass with bipartisan support,” said Pelosi, who has often preached against banking on Republican support in the lower chamber. “But the bill will pass.”
She made her comments after lunching with Vice President Joe Biden, who emerged — all smiles — to predict President Barack Obama’s $3.6 trillion spending plan will pass “with all major elements intact.”
Obvious show of bipartisanship in Congress from Nancy Pelosi (NOT):
"The sheer size of the program ... is so large and the leverage being provided to the private equity participants so beneficial, that the taxpayer risk is many times that of the private parties, thereby potentially skewing the economic incentives," the report states.
Other major recipients of money from the so-called Troubled Assets Relief Program also had substantial lobbying costs in the first three months of this year, including:
--Bank of America Corp., which reported spending $660,000 lobbying while receiving its $45 billion in help;
--Wells Fargo & Company, with $700,000 in lobbying costs and $25 billion in bailout money;
--Goldman Sachs, which spent $670,000 while receiving its $10 billion;
--Morgan Stanley, which spent $540,000 while also getting $10 billion in assistance;
--PNC Financial Services Group, spent $135,000 -- nearly double what it did at the end of last year -- on lobbying while receiving a $7.8 billion lifeline;
--U.S. Bancorp spent $170,000 on lobbying and got $6.6 billion in government aid.
Not bad for a program alive for just six months that still has $135 billion to spend. Barofsky's 250-page report to Congress also notes that taxpayers have been exposed to huge losses under TARP, with no guarantee that the funding will do what it's supposed to do.
Remember all the calls last year for "greater transparency" in the banking industry? Now, the government won't even take its own advice on that.
Take Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. In January, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee unveiled the TARP Reform and Accountability Act of 2009. Its goals: to "strengthen accountability, close loopholes, increase transparency, and require Treasury to take significant steps on foreclosure mitigation."
All laudable. Except, according to a January article in the Boston Business Journal, Boston's smallish OneUnited Bank earlier got a $12 million cash infusion from federal funds after "gaining influential support from" Frank.
It was not clear from Grassley's letter what specific inquiry was delayed by Barofsky's dispute with Treasury.
The senator included an April memo from the inspector general containing blacked-out sections. In that memo, Barofsky resisted what he viewed as an overreach by Treasury officials. Congress had a "clear intention to preserve [the inspector general's] independence and not subject us to the [Treasury] secretary's ability to shut down an audit or investigation," Barofsky wrote.
Q: You've been quite critical of the Treasury. What troubles you most about what you're getting and what you're not getting?
A: There's no discussion of the overall policy. Instead, there are specific programs that are announced, and from that, it's necessary to reason backwards to figure out what the goal must have been. It's like a "Jeopardy!" game. If this is the answer, what was the question? It's frustrating because without a clearly articulated goal and identified metrics to determine whether the goal is being accomplished, it's almost impossible to tell if a program is successful.
Q: Do you have a clear sense of what the overall TARP plan at this point is supposed to do? Are you capable of summarizing what it's supposed to be doing?
A: No. And neither is Treasury. Treasury has given us multiple contradictory explanations for what it's trying to accomplish.
Taxpayers Face Heavy Losses on Auto Bailout Congressional Oversight Panel report says most of the $23 billion initially provided to General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC late last year is unlikely to be repaid.: ...
...Apparently they will have to have their stocks appreciate much more than likely to get our tax dollars back.
Where are all those green cars they were going to make?
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