Surprise! Some TARP recipients cooking the books

Our sharp eyed government is on the ball so have no fear.

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”.

Just how banks value mortgage-backed securities and other assets on their books has been an issue of intense debate as the financial crisis has unfolded.

Large banks from Citigroup to Goldman Sachs and hundreds of regional banks have taken billions from Tarp to rebuild balance sheets weakened by the financial crisis.

But institutions applying for Tarp money had to show they were fundamentally sound, potentially prompting them to mis-state their assets and liabilities.

Mr Barofsky also said the Treasury’s expanded term asset-backed securities loan facility (Talf) was ripe for fraud.

The former New York prosecutor said the decision to expand the Talf to encourage investors to buy distressed, or “legacy”, assets from banks could put public money behind investments that were backed by fraudulent mortgages.

First, isn't it an odd attitude for a an overseer to "hope" that he doesn't find a single bank who's been cheating? One would hope that someone in charge of looking over the shoulder of the banks would pray for the opportunity to catch one of them trying to steal tax payer monies.

Beyond that, isn't it swell that our tax dollars may be used by banks to back fraudulent mortgages? Kind of makes you wish for the day when the worst a bank could do would be to embezzle customer's money. Now they can rob us all.



Our sharp eyed government is on the ball so have no fear.

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”.

Just how banks value mortgage-backed securities and other assets on their books has been an issue of intense debate as the financial crisis has unfolded.

Large banks from Citigroup to Goldman Sachs and hundreds of regional banks have taken billions from Tarp to rebuild balance sheets weakened by the financial crisis.

But institutions applying for Tarp money had to show they were fundamentally sound, potentially prompting them to mis-state their assets and liabilities.

Mr Barofsky also said the Treasury’s expanded term asset-backed securities loan facility (Talf) was ripe for fraud.

The former New York prosecutor said the decision to expand the Talf to encourage investors to buy distressed, or “legacy”, assets from banks could put public money behind investments that were backed by fraudulent mortgages.

First, isn't it an odd attitude for a an overseer to "hope" that he doesn't find a single bank who's been cheating? One would hope that someone in charge of looking over the shoulder of the banks would pray for the opportunity to catch one of them trying to steal tax payer monies.

Beyond that, isn't it swell that our tax dollars may be used by banks to back fraudulent mortgages? Kind of makes you wish for the day when the worst a bank could do would be to embezzle customer's money. Now they can rob us all.