Taxpayer Risk: $9.7 Trillion
When all of the various programs to address the financial crisis are added up the total that taxpayers on the hook for could approach $9.7 trillion.
“We’ve seen money go out the back door of this government unlike any time in the history of our country,” Senator Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, said on the Senate floor Feb. 3. “Nobody knows what went out of the Federal Reserve Board, to whom and for what purpose. How much from the FDIC? How much from TARP? When? Why?”
This is what you get when you rush through things. The oversite on this whole thing has been dubious at best.
When Congress approved the TARP on Oct. 3, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and then Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson acknowledged the need for transparency and oversight. The Federal Reserve so far is refusing to disclose loan recipients or reveal the collateral they are taking in return. Collateral is an asset pledged by a borrower in the event a loan payment isn’t made.
In short, “Trust us, we’re from the government and we are here to help you.”