The Government Accountability Office released a report today on the Troubled Asset Relief Program. TARP, as the name implies, was sold to Congress as a plan to provide relief to the financial industry by purchasing troubled assets with federal dollars. It hasn't done that.
Instead, it has bought equity stakes in troubled financial institutions (TFIRP?). The GAO report found that oversight of the program is seriously lacking. That should come as little surprise to Congress, which commissioned the report, since the inspector general in charge of oversight has not been confirmed. Why? An anonymous senator has placed a "hold" on his nomination.
That ticks off Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who fought to have the IG included in the bill. "This report proves the immediate need for oversight of the taxpayer dollars being expended right now as part of TARP. Because of one Senator's anonymous block on this nomination, three weeks have been lost - a key element of the TARP oversight program is not in place," he said.