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US Tarp Bill Could Reach $24 Trillion Dollars

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Special inspector general Neil Barofsky's quarterly report to congress indicates the government has devoted $4.7 trillion to help the financial sector, an AP Story appearing on MSNBC notes. More troubling is that under the worst of circumstances the government's exposure could reach $24 trillion or 80k for every man woman and child. The report also accuses the Treasury Department of failing to adopt recommendations aimed at making the rescue effort more accountable and transparent. That they are not requiring enough transparency from TARP recipients.

The figure of $24 trillion represents both direct financial outlays, as well as loan risks assumed by the government. Its not expected to come to the full figure, but the general public needs to be aware that TARP has cost us far more than the often bandied figure of 700 billion. Most of TARPS assistance has been in the form of the government stepping in to ease credit fears and offering to back loans and other risky financial transactions.

The LA Times coverage of this report has the following interesting stat.

Barofsky's survey of 364 financial institutions found that about 43%
said they used some of the funds to build up reserves. Fifty-two
percent said they used some of the funds for debt repayment, and 15%
used the money for acquisitions.

On the positive side:

Because of declining participation in short-term loan programs and
because some infusions of money have been repaid, the maximum amount
actually spent has declined to a current outstanding balance of $3
trillion, Barofsky said.

It is unclear whether Barofsky has any purview over the ARRA program (American Recovery and Reinvenstment Act) which represents even more taxpayer billions spent by the government.