Treasury has spent or committed $590.4 billion of the TARP funds. Treasury has also relied heavily on the use of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet which has expanded by more than $1.5 trillion....This has allowed Treasury to leverage TARP funds well beyond the funds appropriated by Congress.What? I thought we were in for $750 billion. Did Geithner go all-in while I wasn't looking?
The total value of all direct spending, loans and guarantees provided to date in conjunction with the financial stability efforts (including those of the FDIC as well as the Treasury and the Federal Reserve) now exceeds $4 trillion.
Set aside the question of whether or not we should even bail out the banks for a moment.
Should spending authorized by congressional action be allowed to act as a back door to put at risk an amount of taxpayer money that exceeds the originally authorized amount by several trillion dollars? Keep in mind that the Federal Reserve is an institution with a large degree of independence and insulation from political accountability, which is the type of accountability we use to run our country.
I previously considered whether or not this leveraging of the money explicitly authorized for a financial bailout into this gargantuan sum is even legal. I still don't know the answer.