Report Rips TARP Strategy (or Lack Thereof)

Failure to track funds or evaluate effectiveness troubles panel
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2009 9:25 AM CST
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, speaks during an event sponsored by The Economic Club, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
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(Newser) – So much for transparency. A blistering draft report being issued by a congressional oversight panel today says Treasury has failed to reveal its strategy for stabilizing the financial system and failed to answer questions asked by the watchdog group, the Wall Street Journal reports. But worse still, it’s done nothing to help struggling homeowners trapped under mortgages that are worth more than their homes.

The report from the five-member panel criticizes the Treasury for having no ability to ensure that banks lend the bailout funds they’ve received, for a lack of standards to evaluate its own effectiveness, and for ignoring questions from the panel. Treasury and incoming chief Tim Geithner are responding with a plan to better track what banks do with the billions in taxpayer funds, but the nature of what data will be collected is unclear.