TARP Fraud Compounded By... Fraud?

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We are shocked, shocked to learn that book cooking has been going on in here. (Maybe). At least, TARPs "top cop" thinks so. (Maybe). Apparently, he's on the case. (Maybe).

The official policing the $700bn Tarp fund says he is investigating whether banks have "cooked their books" to secure bail-out money.
Neil Barofsky, special inspector-general for the troubled asset relief programme, told the Financial Times he was seeking evidence of wrongdoing on the part of banks receiving help from the fund, which was designed to ease credit conditions and support distressed industries.
"I hope we don't find a single bank that's cooked their books to try to get money but I don't think that's going to be the case," said Mr Barofsky, who has been dubbed the "Tarp cop".

We hope so too! True, we'd have lots to write about, but imagine the crash that would follow if it turned out a few good banks had been a little more than aggressive with the accounting. All bets would be off, we suspect.
Tarp investigator seeks evidence of book fiddling [The Financial Times]


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: