Economics

TARP Ain't Nothing But Crap Mispelled. Or, Where Did the Money Go?

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A panel charged with overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is whacking the program's administrators like a soggy pinata: You keep hitting the thing, but it never quite offers up what you really want from the thing. From a report that is invariably described as "scathing" comes this sort of info:

The report noted that the Treasury Department initially said that it would invest funds in "healthy" banks, naming Citigroup among them and providing the bank with $25 billion. But less than a month later, Treasury gave Citi $20 billion in additional financing "apparently to avoid systemic failure." …

Though TARP originally was conceived as a bank rescue plan, the dozens of companies that have received preliminary or full approval for TARP funds include the credit card company American Express and insurance giant AIG.

The panel said that Treasury should "clearly identify the types of institutions it believes fall under the purview" of the rescue package.

"The question is how the infusion of billions of dollars to an insurance conglomerate or a credit card company advances both the goal of financial stability and the well-being of taxpayers, including homeowners threatened by foreclosure, people losing their jobs and families unable to pay their credit cards," the report said.

More here.

A massive government program that was hastily created in a couple of weeks time (tops) is doing a poor job? Or doesn't even know what its job actually is? And can't answer questions properly to its oversight body? Say it ain't so, Joe!

It's a good thing that there's a new sheriff in town, who is going to fix all this profligate and obscure funding with the "wisdom and discipline" the situation calls for. Wow, we sure dodged a bullet there, especially with an $800 billion (or whatever) stimulus package on the launchpad.

Reason Foundation on the bailout(s) here.

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  1. I’m seeing The Sopranos reruns for the first time and I’m noticing many similarities. It’s obvious to me that they’re making this up as they go. I humbly suggest that Uncle Sammy whacks a few more jamooks, starting with Fanny Schifosa and Freddie Fanook.

  2. Well I hope the Chinese figure out what they’re buying.

  3. “I’m from the government, and… that’s all you need to know.”

  4. I have noticed lately that nobody at Reason seems to know the difference between it’s and its. I’ve seen the mistake pop up from a variety of writers, including Nick, Ron, and Radley. It’s (?note correct usage) even used inconsistently within a single paragraph:

    Or doesn’t even know what it’s job actually is? And can’t answer questions properly to its oversight body?

    Its = possessive
    It’s = it is

    Peace out,

    The Grammar Troll

  5. Grammar Troll: nice work. IIRC, Nick has a Ph.D. in English, so should know better.

    I like to use the mnemonic that counterintuitively, the possessive “its” does not possess an apostrophe.

    Also, if a bank is healthy why would it need to government to invest in it? Am I missing something?

  6. Typo fixed. Thanks for pointing its out.

  7. I think “they” (meaning Paulsen et al.) knew and still know perfectly well what the bailout was for: It was to be used to save their buddies from their own mistakes.

    Lehman Bros. failed when Paulsen didn’t include them on the list of needy, er, worthy companies, even though he listed Goldman-Sachs (his old employer) – a direct competitor of LB. Then he was forced to bring in AIG because up to 50% of GS value was tied into that insurance firm.

    I’m reminded of Animal Farm and the milk suddenly disappearing, then the apples being saved for the pigs.

  8. Grammar Troll,

    I’m good with its/it’s, but I have a question: Is is other’s or others?

  9. STFU moran your a looser

  10. Did Nick just call joe out in a blog post?

  11. I’ve concluded that Nick and joe are one and the same, so I doubt it. I think he’s referring to Mr. Monroe.

  12. Next Niggle:

    “You keep hitting the thing, but it never quite offers up what you really want from the thing.

  13. I’d like to read the report… is it available in link-to form?

  14. It’s a TARP!!!!!

  15. Here you go Pro Lib.

  16. Okay, so it’s other’s.

  17. And thanks!

  18. And I thank you as well.

  19. Admiral Lobsterhead=win

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