Powerline has a post on the TARP quarterly report recently released and finds a lot to worry about. TARP: The Looming Debacle

…The Inspector General’s report documents the stunning and at least partly illegal expansion of TARP from the $700 billion originally allocated by Congress to what is now a $3 trillion complex of programs…

The level of mismanagement is colossal.  The report says,

Treasury has indicated, however, that it will not adopt SIGTARP’s recommendation that all TARP recipients be required to do the following:

• account for the use of TARP funds
• set up internal controls to comply with such accounting
• report periodically to Treasury on the results, with appropriate sworn certifications

In light of the fact that the American taxpayer has been asked to fund this extraordinary effort to stabilize the financial system, it is not unreasonable that the public be told how those funds have been used by TARP recipients. Treasury is now conducting regular surveys of the banks’ lending activities; however, with the exception of Citigroup and Bank of America, Treasury has refused to seek further details on TARP recipients’ use of funds.

It’s a slush fund extraordinaire and Treasury doesn’t even pretend to care what’s going on.

The report goes on to identify areas of concern, such as conflicts of interest, collusion between the bureaucrats running programs and their participants, and the potential for money laundering.

Powerline draws some conclusions:

What conclusions can we draw? 1) The government’s $3 trillion and counting TARP program represents the greatest opportunity for sharp operators to profit at taxpayer expense in history. 2) The Obama administration is either in favor of giving Wall Street sharks this opportunity or, at a minimum, doesn’t much mind doing so. (If this seems odd, remember where Obama got the biggest chunk of campaign contributions in 2008.) 3) It may be that the TARP complex of programs is the beginning of a national-socialist type takeover of the financial services industry by the federal government…

You should read the whole post.  It’s worth going there just for the chart that details where the money went.

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