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TARP watchdog says Treasury missing bank data
In a report to be released on Monday, Neil Barofsky said banks that have received money from the $700 billion bailout package passed last year are able to indicate how they are using taxpayer money and that Treasury should require banks to be more transparent.
"The fact that there may be some limitations on the precision of the data that could be collected," Barofsky said in the report, "does not mean that such reporting could not generate meaningful information."
Barofsky is the Special Inspector General over the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) that was passed by Congress in October. The report is based on a survey of 360 banks receiving government aid and is meant to bolster Barofsky's recommendation that the Obama administration should mandate that banks supply more information about how they are using the money, whether for lending, additional capital or other purposes.
The report indicates that banks can give "at least a general indication" about how the money is used and what they were able to do had it not been for the government help.
"Treasury's decision to reject this information just because the bank may not be able to trace the exact dollars ignores this common sense view," Barofksy said.
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