Troubled Asset Relief Program: Status of Programs and Implementation of GAO Recommendations, Statement of Thomas J. McCool, Director Applied Research and Methods, Testimony Before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, U.S. Senate   [open pdf - 363KB]

"This testimony discusses our work on the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which Congress established on October 3, 2008, in response to the financial crisis that threatened the stability of the U.S. financial system and the solvency of many financial institutions. Under the original TARP legislation, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) had the authority to purchase or insure $700 billion in troubled assets held by financial institutions. The Secretary of the Treasury extended the authority originally provided under EESA through October 3, 2010. However, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act)--signed into law on July 21, 2010--set a new spending ceiling for TARP, in effect prohibiting Treasury from incurring any additional obligations for programs that had not been initiated prior to June 25, 2010. A broad range of activities have been initiated under TARP. Specific initiatives have injected capital into key financial institutions; implemented programs to address problems in the securitization markets; provided assistance to the automobile industry and American International Group, Inc. (AIG); and offered incentives for modifying residential mortgages, among other things. As TARP passes the 30-month mark, U.S. financial markets appear to be less volatile than they were in 2008. But questions about a sustained economic recovery continue, and certain areas of the economy still face significant challenges. For example, foreclosures and mortgage delinquencies continue to linger and small businesses still face tight credit conditions. As a result, TARP has been transformed into a program that focuses primarily on preserving homeownership and improving financial conditions for small financial institutions and businesses. While many other programs have ended and begun winding down operations and some participating institutions have repaid part or all of their TARP funds, the prospect of repayment from some other institutions, both large and small, remains uncertain. This statement is primarily based on our January 12, 2011, report and focuses on (1) the status of TARP programs; (2) Treasury's progress in implementing an effective management structure for TARP, including staffing the Office of Financial Stability (OFS), overseeing contractors, and establishing a comprehensive system of internal controls; and (3) trends in key relevant economic indicators."

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