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Friday, June 12, 2009

Elizabeth Warren On TARP

This post was also orignally put on Smart Girl Politics a few days ago

First, one has to wonder if she doesn't have a degree in diplomacy for spinning her panel's review of the TARP program. In spite of this, a few problems seem too big to ignore.

First is that it's basic "stress assumptions" were a joke. The worst case scenario for employment assumed for this year was blown through in four months and we are now within easy striking distance of the worst case test for next year of I think 10.3% unemployment, which is projected as the recession low. (A note here. One needs to understand just how much faulty inputs like the Birth/Death model are already understating the real unemployment rate.)

Second, she notes that the entire stress time frame is only two years long, even
with a long pipeline of suspect mortgages and debts out there.

Third, She points out that the raw data that goes into the tests about just what assets and bad loans banks hold has been kept from the public, making it impossible to cross check the results.

What comes across is that the Treasury, FDIC and FED are in no way instruments of real transparency but are obstacles to it.

This fits with the "shut up, elitist, experts know best' attitude of this administration. She does, correctly point out just how against the FED's grain any level of transparency is.

Her last comment about the very ambiguous way the TARP law was written means that it is in fact a blank check for the executive to do as it wishes.

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