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October 23, 2009

GAO Report: No Evidence TARP Worked; Treasury Officials Failed to Track Money, Deceived Congress; Half of Money Unlikely to Ever Be Recouped

Seems I was wrong.

In his 256-page report to Congress, Barofsky notes that the Treasury Department's failure to implement anti-fraud measures, or even to require TARP recipients to report how they used the billions Congress and the Treasury Department gave them, makes it highly unlikely that the $317 billion outstanding -- nearly half the TARP total -- will ever be returned to taxpayers. Barofsky also threatened to subpoena documents relating to the Treasury Department's "less-than-accurate statements ... concerning TARP's first investments in nine large financial institutions," as well as its subsequent refusal to report what hundreds of other TARP recipients did with the funds.

So there you have it: Treasury officials lied to Congress and the public, and refused to demand even a basic level of accountability from TARP recipients while borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars that taxpayers will eventually have to pay back, plus billions in interest. Incredibly, just Wednesday, President Obama announced a new TARP-like program for small businesses and community banks. The madness in Washington won't stop until the people completely clean house at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

I was also very wrong about the bailouts not "greasing the tracks for socialism." Certainly Obama has capitalized on the panic-mentality and used a general claim that We must do something, now, before thinking! to usher through the Spendulus -- another $800 billion down the rathole -- and certainly the TARP panic aided him in that.

Incidentally, Obama ally General Electric, owner of Obama-approved media organizations NBC and MSNBC, lobbied for special rules to get TARP money despite having almost nothing at all to do with banking. (They have a finance arm, but their "banking" presence derives from the ownership of two small banks.)

GE, you will be happy to know, got the money under special rules and also, being so very special, does not have to comply with Obama's Pay Czar's CEO pay demands.



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posted by Ace at 03:18 PM

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