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TARP watchdog says Treasury lacking bank data

Silla Brush
The Hill [1]
Monday, July 20, 2009

The top watchdog over the financial bailout package said the Treasury Department is rejecting “common sense” by not requiring banks receiving billions of dollars in government money to say how they are using the money.

In a report to be released on Monday, Neil Barofsky said banks that have received money from the $700 billion bailout package passed last year are able to indicate how they are using taxpayer money and that Treasury should require banks to be more transparent.

“The fact that there may be some limitations on the precision of the data that could be collected,” Barofsky said in the report, “does not mean that such reporting could not generate meaningful information.”

Barofsky is the Special Inspector General over the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) that was passed by Congress in October. The report is based on a survey of 360 banks receiving government aid and is meant to bolster Barofsky’s recommendation that the Obama administration should mandate that banks supply more information about how they are using the money, whether for lending, additional capital or other purposes.

Full article here [1]