Thursday, April 23, 2009

TARP update

Investor's Business Daily:
The government's $750 billion bank bailout was passed six months ago amid great hype. So far, a new government report claims, the program is rife with inefficiency and fraud. Surprised? You shouldn't be.

In what Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky calls only a "first wave" of investigations, some 20 criminal probes have been opened for possible securities fraud, tax-law violations and insider trading, among other serious financial crimes.

And why has this happened? The Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, said Barofsky, is "inherently vulnerable to fraud, waste and abuse, including significant issues relating to conflicts of interest facing fund managers, collusion between participants, and vulnerabilities to money laundering."

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.
But I'm sure it will be totally different when the government runs health care.

Update: More here.

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