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US Treasury overpaid $78 bln under TARP-watchdog
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of CNN News/Reuters

CNN News/Reuters, February 6, 2009
Posted: February 15th, 2009

The U.S. Treasury looks to have overpaid financial institutions to the tune of $78 billion in carrying out capital injections last year, the head of a congressional oversight panel for the government's $700 billion bailout program told lawmakers. Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard law professor, said her group estimated the Treasury paid $254 billion in 2008 in return for stocks and warrants worth about $176 billion under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Warren said the Treasury, under then-Secretary Henry Paulson, misled the public about how it would price them. "Treasury simply did not do what it said it was doing ... They described the program one way, and they priced it another," Warren said at a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee. She added that Paulson "was not entirely candid" in describing TARP's bank capital injection program. Neil Barofsky, another watchdog for the TARP program, told the Senate committee his office is turning to criminal investigations. "That's going to be a large focus of my office," he said. Warren told the banking committee that after three months on the job, her panel is still not getting enough answers from Treasury. She described the bailout as "an opaque process at best." Barofsky raised concerns about potential fraud in one of several programs funded by bailout money -- the Federal Reserve's Term Asset-Backed Loan Facility (TALF).

Note: Was the overpayment by Treasury to Wall Street banks for nearly-worthless assets they created a mistake? Or was it the real, hidden purpose of TARP to pay the banks more for the assets than they are worth? For many revealing reports from reliable sources on the realities behind the Wall Street bailout, click here.

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