“Pulling the TARP Over Your Eyes” by Center for American Progress
December 03, 2008, 1:00am

When Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson initially presented his plan for the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) to Congress, it was three pages long and included no oversight mechanism, stating that decisions by the Secretary are “committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.” Emphatically rejecting that approach, Congress crafted a series of supposed checks on Paulson’s power to use the TARP — including an independent inspector general and an oversight board appointed by both parties — and required Paulson to ask Congress if he wanted to access further installments of the money, after the first $350 billion was exhausted. However, it has become clear that Paulson and the Treasury are increasingly operating without oversight of any kind. Despite repeated promises from lawmakers and Paulson himself, the allocation of the TARP funds do not appear to be receiving much scrutiny.

From The Progress Report