- Days left
We've all been referring to the federal government's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) for banks as the "$700 billion bailout." But last night, BailoutSleuth, Marc Cuban's site created to follow the administration of the bailout reported that our government has spent a whole lot more than that to rescue financial services companies.

How much so far? Try $2.5 trillion.

This comes out as Bloomberg L.P. has filed a lawsuit to force the Federal Reserve to provide more information about which companies are receiving money and what assets have been pledged to get the money. Although the bailout was initially approved amid claims that there would be total transparency, the reality has fallen far short of that.

Here's how BailoutSleuth comes up with its total:
  • $170 billion for banks who sold preferred stock to the government
  • $150 billion given to AIG -- $85 billion initially, another $25 billion, and another $40 billion
  • $2 trillion in emergency loans from the Federal Reserve to banks under 11 different programs that are separate from the TARP program, and which didn't require approval by Congress


The total so far is at $2.32 trillion. And banks can still apply to get another $80 billion in aid. And... The tax code was also changed by the Treasury Department, which some say could give merging banks a savings of $140 billion in taxes. In total, the government is basically prepared to hand out $2.5 trillion to banks.

We're not done yet. These numbers don't include the funds the Treasury Department has offered up to help Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the new HOPE for Homeowners program, totaling $500 billion. So a total of $3 trillion so far!!!

And I'm not naïve enough to think it's stopping there. I predict that in less than a month, the Treasury will tell us that we just haven't approved enough, and need more to make the bailout "as effective as possible." Mmmm-hmmmm.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Getting out of debt

Everyone hates debt. Get out of it.

View Course »

Introduction to Retirement Funds

Target date funds help you maintain a long term portfolio.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

A Tax Filing Factsheet for eBay Sellers

You can find almost anything for sale on eBay, from a piece of fine art to clippings of Justin Bieber?s hair. So it's no surprise that the IRS doesn't view all sellers alike in the online marketplace. You may not have to pay tax at all if you are essentially hosting an online garage sale, but if you run your eBay account more like a business, you should be reporting your sales to the IRS.

Tax Tips for Handymen and Odd Jobs

If you work as a handyman or do odd jobs around town for money, you are operating a business in the eyes of the IRS. Since you own your own business, you're likely a self-employed sole proprietor. This means you'll have lots of potential tax deductions to investigate.

Identity Theft: 7 Steps to Reclaiming Your Identity and Keeping it Safe

As more personal information continues to be stored online, the risk of identity theft also increases. In 2014 alone, the Bureau of Justice reported that 17.6 million U.S. residents experienced identity theft. If someone uses your personal data pretending to be you, it's a serious crime. With quick, decisive action, you can help discover the fraud, stop further damage and reclaim your identity. Here are six steps to get you on your way.

Need More Tax Time? File a Tax Extension

If you need more time to complete your taxes, file a tax extension, but don't miss out on your chance for a tax refund by not filing at all. Learn more about tax extensions from this 2012 infographic!

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum