WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. government's financial industry bailout scheme received mixed reviews in the latest report from its overseers.
The Congressional Oversight Panel issued its monthly report Wednesday, saying the Troubled Asset Relief Program should be credited with being "instrumental in avoiding a global financial meltdown … at much lower cost than was originally expected." But the program failed to adequately improve the availability of credit and stem the trend of the very high rate of home foreclosures.
Panel members said a lack of clarity by the U.S. Treasury Department regarding TARP hampered the group's ability to assess just how effective the $700 billion program has been. TARP was passed in October 2008 to stabilize the financial industry, which was on the verge of collapse mostly because of a huge number of bad loans given out.
Treasury officials, in another report, said they have seen repayments of TARP loans at a higher rate than they had figured and losses in 2010 should be about $140 billion. Last summer TARP was predicted to lose about $340 billion next year.