House Republicans are angry that the Bailout the voted for and trusted Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to administer has been misspent. What did they expect?
"The government has burned through nearly $350 billion of (bailout) funds and is pledging trillions of dollars more through other programs, yet little is understood about how these investments are contributing to the nation's economic recovery," a dozen House Republicans wrote to Paulson and Bernanke. "The seemingly ad hoc implementation of TARP has led many to wonder if uncertainty is being added to markets at precisely the time when they are desperately seeking a sense of direction."
But President-elect Obama supports the current program use, and had said, "The deteriorating assets in the financial markets are rooted in the deterioration of people being able to pay their mortgages and stay in their homes," wants to use a large bit of it to help homeowners with their mortgages. Congressional Democrats also support TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said Tuesday that the Treasury Department has no way to ensure that banks limit their top execs' pay or comply with other restrictions.
They said that TARP, a financial rescue plan for to help homeowners, was less than 60 days old and has been evolving. But they say that the Treasury needs to work with bank regulators to ensure that activities of the financial institutions receiving the money meet restrictions.
Neel Kashkari, who heads the Treasury Department's Office of Financial Stability, disagreed that they needed to work with regulators.
To date, the government has pledged $250 billion to banks in return for partial ownership. It also has agreed to provide $40 billion to American International Group, $20 billion to Citigroup and $20 billion to the Federal Reserve.
FOX News reports that the House Financial Services Committee intends to hold a hearing next week concerning TARP. Big deal. They'll slap a few hands and continue with theirsame garbage, bailing out their friends with our money.