Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Watchdog: Financial Bailouts Could Cost Taxpayers up to $24 Trillion

The watchdog overseeing the federal government financial bailout says the government’s maximum exposure to banks and other financial institutions could total nearly $24 trillion, or about $80,000 for every American. But Neil Barofsky, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, said the government would only be on the hook for that much money in a doomsday scenario. Barofsky said, “We’re not suggesting that we’re looking at a potential loss to the government of $23 trillion. Our goal is to bring transparency, to put things in context.” In a report issued Monday, Barofsky also criticized the lack of transparency in the Obama administration’s management of the giant financial services bailout program. Barofsky said the Treasury Department has declined to require bailout recipients to explain what they are doing with their government funds.

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