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Bailout for Breakfast: TARP Lacks Fraud Protections

This is the latest from our new bailout blog. Check out our all-seeing database of the bailout billions.

Neil Barofsky (Alex Wong/Getty Images)Good morning! It's a big day for TARP oversight. This morning, Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the TARP (aka the TARP cop), released his second quarterly report. A copy should appear on the SIGTARP Web site shortly.

The main takeaway: There are plenty of ways for fraudsters to game the TARP, and two programs seem particularly vulnerable. There's the TALF, the Federal Reserve lending facility that, like just about everything else the Fed does, lacks for transparency. And then there's the big toxic asset purchase program. The government shouldn't launch that program until there are better fraud protections, Barofsky says. Here are some write-ups: WSJ, NYT, LAT, WaPo.

Also, this morning at 10 a.m., the Congressional Oversight Panel will be grilling Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in a public hearing. It will be webcast on COP's Web site and also broadcast on C-Span.

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