keywords: tarp, troubled assets relief program, vikram pandit ceo citigroup, house financial services committee
Synopsis: The $700 billion dollar bailout plan proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke received Congressional approval with the creation of the Troubled Assets Relief Program or TARP. CEO’s of eight major American banks appeared before the House Financial Services Committee on February 11, 2009 to answer the question “where did the money go that banks received under TARP” and why there is still no availability of credit to business and consumers on main street. Trying to determine of accountability of TARP funds... (read more)
Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup was questioned at length about a TARP agreement where Citigroup would get 100% of the upside profits and the government would be on the hook for 90% of the downside or losses.
The charge is made that banks are simply not making loans even to qualified borrowers. Ken Lewis of Bank of America answers these charges.
The bottom line is “main street” is not seeing the benefits of the TARP programs. Robert Diamond of Barclays is asked if he has any suggestions what can be done to free up the credit markets.