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Posts Tagged ‘TARP funds’

Will Geithner ‘Walk the Walk?’

Posted by Larry Doyle on November 18th, 2009 9:35 AM |

Do you have any confidence that Washington even knows how to properly address our massive and growing fiscal deficit? Rahm Emanuel, Tim Geithner and others understand that from a political standpoint they need to start talking about deficit control, but will that talk lead to action?

Do you think Congressional leaders, specifically Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, have the character and fortitude to ‘tighten the belt?’

The first real test for this crowd is already upon us. How so? The TARP, with a $700 billion commitment, expires on December 31, 2009. Of that $700 billion, $400 billion has actually been spent. Why wasn’t the other $300 billion spent? Well, don’t forget that Obama’s Stimulus Bill totaled $770 billion and assorted other programs implemented by Treasury have run into the trillions. As a result, Geithner did not immediately need to allocate those funds.

The question begs as to what will happen to that $300 billion. While Emanuel and Geithner are starting to ‘talk’ the fiscal discipline ‘talk,’ will they ‘walk the walk?’ (more…)

The TARP Has a $159 Billion Loss !!

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 30th, 2009 3:27 PM |

The American taxpayer was going to make money on the investments in assets related to Bear Stearns, AIG, Citigroup, Bank of America, ad nauseum, correct?

Is it even possible to track the massive government outlays across the entire economic landscape? Is it further possible to measure the actual cost of the outlays as a percentage of the overall subsidies? Can we navigate this terrain without getting bogged down in the midst of a thicket of government data and statistics? You have come to the right place.

Our trusty financial primer, Subsidyscope (right sidebar here at Sense on Cents) has just released a report, entitled Estimated TARP Subsidy Rate Rises, which links to a report from the Congressional Budget Office highlighting all aspects of the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program).

Just as “you can’t tell the players without a program” when attending a sporting event, “you can’t track Uncle Sam without Subsidyscope and Sense on Cents.”

What do we learn? Uncle Sam is still holding some TARP firepower. The TARP was launched as a $699 billion capital commitment. If you recall, the TARP legislation was passed as a vehicle to purchase toxic assets from banks. It has moved a long way away from that.

The TARP now covers 4 initiatives:

1. capital purchase and repayments from financial institutions

2. additional support for large financial institutions

3. financial assistance to automakers and related businesses

4. other actions, such as mortgage modification, TALF subsidies, and purchasing securities backed by Small Business Administration loans.

To be perfectly frank, I think it is very plausible that the actual capital commitments and activities ongoing under the TARP may not have met the pure letter of the initial legislation. That said, in an environment in which so many initiatives are capital constrained, there is no real legislative pushback. When was the last time we worried about the spirit or letter of our laws when we had bigger issues concerning money?? Money is more important than legal precedents, correct? We’ll get into that on another post.

On the numbers front:

Of the $699 billion in total capital, $142 billion has yet to be committed. Of the funds already allocated, Uncle Sam has incurred a total cost of $159 billion. What does that mean?

Recall the number of times that government officials told taxpayers that we would make money on investments in AIG and the like. Well, so far we’ve lost $159 billion dollars across all our TARP investments. The loss is calculated as the difference in funds committed and allocated to securities and the market value of those securities. That loss represents 36% of the funds committed and actually allocated.

Not that anybody in the media or the financial industry would want you to know that.

Program, here….get your program….step right up…program, here!!

Enjoy the ballgame, folks!!

LD

No TARP For You!!

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 13th, 2009 1:49 PM |

No soup for you!

No TARP for you!

Who can ever forget the Seinfeld episode featuring the Soup Nazi? Well, in that same vein, the insurance company Genworth Financial was just summarily thrown out of the Treasury “line” to receive TARP funds. The WSJ reports, Genworth Financial Shares Slump on TARP Ineligibility

Shares of Genworth Financial Inc. fell as much as 31% Monday as investors responded to the insurer’s late-Thursday announcement that it is ineligible to participate in the Treasury’s Capital Purchase Plan because it missed a deadline that Treasury won’t extend.

The mere fact that Genworth, Hartford Financial, Protective Life, or any other insurer are requesting government funds is another version of the “putting perfume on a pig” play we saw with the FASB relaxation of the mark-to-market. Why is that? 

The TARP (Troubled Asset Recovery Program) was designed by Congress for banks needing increased capital. If investment banks can become bank holding companies, why not insurance companies as well? Perhaps, the next thing you know, we’ll have plumbers designating themselves as banks. How about construction companies? Maybe a bakery or two? Anybody for a newly defined U.S. Financial Blogging Bank? Where do I sign? We could all use some “soup.” (more…)






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