Skip to main content

The Demise Of TARP?

Live Blogging The Bald on the Tarp....
Let us begin.
10:32am: Mark Haines is blowing a gasket. The address hasn't even begun and a sudden vomitious belch of class warfare spews forth from his mouth including these tidbits:
"Bush has an MBA from Harvard. What's that thing worth?"
"Can we drop these Goldman Sachs yo-yos and get someone else? Like Bank of America?"
10:36am: Paulson is a total come-down after that little bit.
10:40am: It is interesting that now that Paulson looks like he might be on the way out as Obama enters stage left, the regulator should be limited (once more) in its scope. "In my view government support must either be explicit or non-existent." Sounds like a strange spin on "children should be seen, but not heard."
10:45am: "In Washington [the deployment of TARP funds] is a land speed record from announcing a program to getting funding out of the door." (Is that really worth bragging about? It's like programmers evaluating their work by comparing lines of code written).
10:48am: Paulson gets no argument whatsoever from me that the market needs time to "fully absorb" the increasingly miasmaic lay of the land after the maze of regulatory programs has been thrown over it.
10:51am: Paulson: TARP not effective anymore. The consumer credit, student loans, auto loans have frozen up, and need to be thawed though the repurchase of their securitized instruments. WOW!
10:56am: The TARP funds should be redirected to consumer credit, and maintained as an emergency fund to support these systems. i.e. that crap we fed you about buying asset backed mortgage securities, that dog won't hunt. "We are humbled by our own failings." i.e.: The Department Of The Treasury regrets the error.
10:59am: That sucking sound you hear is Hank's career after striking four tethered mines.
11:03am: See, Mr. Obama? I'm a team player! I can help! You need me! Really!
Q&A Time! After the jump! Hurray!

Q: What's the Federal response to state and local government distress?
A: Who?
Q: What about the auto industry?
A: So, we are going to be providing assistance that has a hope of providing long-term viability.
Q: Uh, so the auto industry?
A: Next question, please.
Q: When are you going to ask for the next $350 million?
A: I don't have a time line for that.
Q.From a macro perspective do you think the U.S. automakers are important to the United States?
A. I answered this. They are key to our manufacturing industry. We need a solution. One that leads to viability.
Q: What about Obama's stimulus package?
A: My package is bigger. Liquidity focused. It gets massive amounts of credit flowing.
Q: Have you abandoned homeowners by changing TARP? Did you mislead Congress since you have changed the use of TARP?
A: Facts changed. We changed. I will never apologize for changing the approach or strategy when the facts change. We haven't been ordering banks to... well not exactly ordering.
Q: Do you see any limit on you at all in the Bill?
A: We asked for broad authority. We got it. We are using it. Now sit down, and shut up, sonny.


TARP Charts!

The Federal Reserve has this new paper out about TARP that does a bit of highly suggestive eyebrow raising about some banks that shall remain nameless. They start from the awkward fact that TARP wanted everything in one bag but didn't want the bag to be heavy, or as they put it: The conflicted nature of the TARP objectives reflects the tension between different approaches to the financial crisis. While recapitalization was directed at returning banks to a position of financial stability, these banks were also expected to provide macro-stabilization by converting their new cash into risky loans. TARP was a use of public tax-payer funds and some public opinion argued that the funds should be used to make loans, so that the benefit of the funds would be passed through directly to consumers and businesses. So you might reasonably ask: were TARP funds locked in the vault to return the recipient banks to financial health, or blown on loans to risky ventures, or other? Well, here is Figure 1 (aggregate commercial and industrial loans from commercial banks in the U.S.): So ... not loaned then. But that's not important! The authors are actually looking not primarily at aggregate amounts of loans but at riskiness of loans and here's what they get: