TARP Investment Reaps Just More Than a Penny on the Dollar
Wonder what more than $300 billion in taxpayer money for the Troubled Asset Relief Program has actually paid for? The Government Accounting Office spent close to three months trying to figure it out and today it announced the answer: It’s hard to say.
Acting Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro submitted a statement to a House subcommittee today, saying “it is too early in the program’s implementation to see measurable results in many areas.”
Maybe time will tell? Well, no, Dodaro wrote: “Even with more time and better data, it will remain difficult to separate the impact of TARP activities from the effect of the other economic forces.”
But all is not lost, he noted. The Treasury Department has spent $196 billion on preferred shares in 416 qualified financial institutions. As of last week, Treasury reports that it has received $2.4 billion in dividends. That’s a 1.2 percent return on the investment dollar over four months, which isn’t half bad these days.