TARP Made a Profit—If by Profit, You Mean Loss.

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Hey, do you remember all those stories about how the Troubled Asset Relief Program not only avoided a total meltdown of the financial system but had turned a profit? You know, the ones with headlines such as "We Made a Profit on TARP!"?

Chew on this, from the special inspector general of TARP:

After 3½ years, the Troubled Asset Relief Program ("TARP") continues to be an active and significant part of the Government's response to the financial crisis. It is a widely held misconception that TARP will make a profit. The most recent cost estimate for TARP is a loss of $60 billion. Taxpayers are still owed $118.5 billion (including $14 billion written off or otherwise lost).

And if that doesn't catch your fancy, check out this:

Only 9% of the TARP funds set aside for mortgage modifications have been spent to help a fraction of eligible homeowners after more than three years. Additionally, despite the fact that Treasury designed the Hardest Hit Fund to address unemployment and underwater homes as causes of foreclosure, after two years, only 3% of the funds obligated have been spent to help only approximately 30,000 homeowners.

One enduring legacy of TARP is criminal activity associated with the program. SIGTARP investigates crime related to TARP and actively supports the prosecutionof individuals it investigates.

Read the whole report here.

Hat tip: Zero Hedge's "George Washington, who notes:

Bailing out the big banks hurts – rather than helps – the American economy.  See thisthis and this.  Indeed, bailing out the big banks hurts – rather than helps—the American economy.  See thisthis and this.   (And it doesn't take a PhD economist to guess that using bailout funds to buy gold toilet seats and prostitutes is probably not the best way to stimulate the economy as a whole).

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  1. Limited supplies of gold toilets you say? HOARDING! There needs to be a government anti-hording-of-gold-shitters Czar appointed N-O-W!

  2. Bailing out the big banks hurts – rather than helps – the American economy. See this, this and this. Indeed, bailing out the big banks hurts – rather than helps – the American economy. See this, this and this.

    Damn, double posted inside your own double post. You’re treading dangerous ground, Gillespie.

    1. It was important enough to be said twice.

    2. Actually the double post is from the source article.

      1. Yes, precisely. Maybe it would’ve been clearer if I’d said double post’d instead.

  3. the squirrels are mighty and vengeful.

  4. Did sandy once take a dump in a gold toilet?

  5. Only 9% of the TARP funds set aside for mortgage modifications have been spent to help a fraction of eligible homeowners after more than three years. Additionally, despite the fact that Treasury designed the Hardest Hit Fund to address unemployment and underwater homes as causes of foreclosure, after two years, only 3% of the funds obligated have been spent to help only approximately 30,000 homeowners.

    Cue the dingbats. I can hear them now, “You see?!? If it would have been implemented as it was supposed to be everything would be peachy and we would all be farting rainbows and riding our solid gold rocket cars to our summer homes.”

  6. Hey, do you remember all those stories about how the Troubled Asset Relief Program not only avoided a total meltdown of the financial system but had turned a profit?

    I recall stories about how all the TARP money that was paid back was going to be used to pay down the debt that was issued to finance TARP, rather than just being spent again.

    1. I recall stories about how all the TARP money that was paid back was going to be used to pay down the debt that was issued to finance TARP, rather than just being spent invested again.

      You know, RC, it’s like you live here, but you don’t really pay full attention.

      If you’re going to make it in the public sector, you need to learn the lingo of the public sector.

      We don’t “spend” anything. We invest. In our future. In our children.

      “It’s time to turn off the war machine, and turn on our children.”

      1. “…and turn on our children”

        Fucking pedophile.

  7. The most recent cost estimate for TARP is a loss of $60 billion. Taxpayers are still owed $118.5 billion (including $14 billion written off or otherwise lost).

    That all may be true, but TARP made a profit.

  8. So TARP is a negative $118 billion as of now?

    I am no fan of Bush but that is a better ROI than I ever thought would occur.

    1. So how much profit have we made from ARRA, Shriek?

  9. This was up at Huffpo earlier. The same commenters who were trumpeting the profits it made 3 weeks ago are now saying that TARP was Bush’s doing.

  10. I think Barney could have done a better job. But no, George W. Bush doesn’t care about black dogs. Speciesist.

  11. You mean the Fed is corrupt and run for the benefit of the financial elites? But shriek said I was a fool for thinking the Fed was out of control!

  12. Does anyone know if FDIC has predicted what the cost would have been to the taxpayers if the banks that were lent money through TARP were allowed to fail? I seem to recall reading that FDIC had over $4 trillion in obligations in 2008. Because both FDIC and TARP are unconstitutional (as far as many conservatives and libertarians are concerned)the reality is that the taxpayers are probably better off with paid-back TARP loans than bank liquidation and pay off the depositors FDIC.

    1. No.

      Rather than pay off the depositors with the printing press, we paid off banks with the printing press instead. So taxpayers get all of the monetary inflation and none of the shit flushed out of the system.

    2. FDIC wouldn’t have been on the hook for deposits over $100k (now $250k).

    3. That figure assumes that the banks could have gotten away with ripping off depositors wholesale. I’ve heard a figure closer to 200 billion bandied about. Jason Lewis is one who has made that argument, but his is based upon that he was advocating from a print media source I’ve seen but have since forgotten.

      1. It’s better that the banks meet their obligations under FDIC up front, not doing so can mean stiff penalties.

  13. As bad as it is, TARP is just another drop in the bucket.

    Just recently the CBO reported that that if laws remain unchanged the federal budget deficit for this year will be $1.1 trillion (http://1.usa.gov/xju6K9). That number is in addition to total debt over $15 Trillion and projections that by 2021 federal debt will be over $20 trillion (http://1.usa.gov/wt4DPi).

  14. As bad as it is, TARP is just another drop in the bucket.

    Just recently the CBO reported that that if laws remain unchanged the federal budget deficit for this year will be $1.1 trillion (http://1.usa.gov/xju6K9). That number is in addition to total debt over $15 Trillion and projections that by 2021 federal debt will be over $20 trillion (http://1.usa.gov/wt4DPi).

  15. Man, I am sooo behind on my budgetpocalypse preparations. Still unarmed, still no food stores, what the fuck am I doin…

    1. Just stock up on weapons and ammo. Then you can appropriate all the food/water/etc. you need.

      1. I’d like to retain some modicum of non-aggression.

  16. I’m looking around my office right now. I’ve got a good view of L.A., a Jasper Johns lithograph ($240 for the frame), a picture of the Brooklyn Bridge that I took with a disposable camera ($220 for frame), some family photos in five separate frames ($87 total), and a desk, chair and lamp provided for me (probably cost about $250 total). And this is considered a nice office! I wonder what I’d do with a million dollars for decorating.

    And I’m looking around my office right now. I’ve got no windows. I’ve got an un-ironic lithograph of “Determination, It is the size of one’s will that determines success”. Frame: $29.95.

    My family photos are on my phone, frame: $0.

    I have a desk and a chair with broken armrests. And this is considered a nice office!

    I know exactly what I’d do with a million dollars for decorating.

    1. I do too. I’d lay out about a $1,000 for a really comfortable leather chair.

      The rest would get off its lazy ass and go to work for me.

  17. How many links in the telephone game does it take for “I hope his crap turns to gold” to “gold-plated toilet seats?” Two, it appears.

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