I’d really like to know why David Dayen is wrong here, but sadly I don’t think he is:
Treasury is claiming a $10 billion profit in TARP bank loans. But a substantial portion of TARP was supposed to be directed to supporting HAMP and foreclosure mitigation programs. We know by now that HAMP will not come close to reaching its goals. The latest HAMP stats show that the program has ground to a near-halt, with only 30,000 or so monthly pickups of trial modifications for nearly a year. So far, the program has spent less than $2 billion of a $50 billion commitment. And this money is supposed to be delivered to banks in incentive payments to help families facing foreclosure. So saving $48 billion on those incentive payments provides more than four times the “profit” from TARP bank loans. In other words, the nice shiny TARP balance sheet is built by reneging on the commitment to help homeowners and the greater economy.