Treasury lacks transparency

Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky who oversees the TARP says that the Treasury refuses to be transparent about some things in relation to how the American taxpayers’ money is being spent. He claims the office rejects the several recommendations he’s made to be more transparent. In a similar manner, he also said it refuses to require banks to explain how the money are being

Thiruvengadam from WSJ writes:

The Treasury Department disputed Mr. Barofsky’s estimate as “inflated.” Treasury spokesman Andrew Williams said Mr. Barofsky’s estimate “does not take into account the assets that offset the risk in these programs” and also doesn’t reflect “fees and other charges that compensate the U.S. taxpayer for the risks incurred.”

Go to WSJ for the whole report HERE.

I used to object to requiring complete transparency, lest it brings further panic to the market at a time when panic was aplenty.  But now that the markets are adjusting, correcting from such a huge drop, and things are beginning to stabilize, I believe it is time transparency does expand. Absent transparency, not only is it Capitol Hill whose interest and curiosity are aroused about where the money goes.  It’s also the people’s.

Those perceived to be the cream of the crop, safe from any economic shakeup, have already returned the money so they are no longer our concern here.  Where the concern now just lurks is witinh the more troubled as well as the regional banks. Credit availability has improved yet it is still not at the level where we used to be before the crisis began.  So if money does not go to lending, where then in the system does it flow to?


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