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GAO:TARP Has Done Two Things, “Jack and Squat”

In the GoverGAO Logonment Accounting Office’s October “Report to Congressional Committees” on TARP, it is apparent that TARP’s success.. isn’t that apparent.

The report recommends filling important positions with permanent staff instead of the consultants currently manning them, but what really stands out is when the GAO attempts to quantify the success of the program.  The report states that, “isolating and estimating the effect of TARP programs remains a challenging endeavor… and that a number of anticipated effects of TARP have not materialized”. Billions of dollars of taxpayer money and not only can’t we estimate any effects, the GAO flat out says that the positive effects we expected.. never happened.
The report goes on to show that TARP is seemingly operating with little oversight, no transparency, and next-to-zero measurements of it’s success or failures.  This sounds eerily like cash-for-clunkers where dealers were unable to get rebate money due to an understaffed and disorganized government program.

Almost $364 Billion has been disbursed to financial agencies and those agencies aren’t using the money to make more loans, their shoring up their financials and buy their warrants back from the government.  Surprise, I know.  From that money, the government has receives a little over $9.2 Billion in dividend and other securities payments.  Unfortunately, since the Treasury had to borrow the money (deficit spending) to give it to the financial institutions and that borrowed money is funded by Treasury instruments that the government pays interest on, no one can figure out if any of that $9 Billion was a profit, a loss or a wash.

Just wait until health care is funded, implemented and measured this way.  We’ll hate it, not know how much it costs, and have no clue how to fix it..  just like TARP.

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