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Government Support for Financial System Balloons to $3.7 Trillion

This morning, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Neil Barofsky, released his latest quarterly report on the state of the Obama

Jul 31, 2020
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This morning, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Neil Barofsky, released his latest quarterly reporton the state of the Obama administration’s signature effort to calm the financial markets — from banking to credit to housing. In it, he lambastesthe Home Affordable Modification Program, designed to reduce financially distressed homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments. (The program has been an expensive failure, kicking far many people out of the program than it has ushered to lower monthly checks.) But he gives a stamp of approval to much of the government’s efforts to stabilize banks.
The report also notes that though Treasury Department programs are sunsetting and the financial market has stabilized, the size of the government intervention has ballooned in the past year. “Indeed, the current outstanding balance of overall federal support for the nation’s financial system … has actually increased more than 23 percent over the past year, from approximately $3.0 trillion to $3.7 trillion — the equivalent of a fully deployed TARP program — largely without congressional action, even as the banking crisis has, by most measures, abated from its most acute phases,” Barofsky writes.
Where is all that money going? Mostly to Fannie Maeand Freddie Mac. The government has offered the two government-sponsored enterprises blank checks to keep the housing market stable. (I’ll note that once the government grants money to Fannie and Freddie, a majority of it trickles to banking and housing finance institutions, to cover losses on bad loans.) Washington has also amped up funds to Ginnie Mae and the Veterans Administration.
The House is currently working on a comprehensive reform bill for Fannie and Freddie — due sometime toward the end of the year.
Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke

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Dexter Cooke is an economist, marketing strategist, and orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience crafting compelling narratives that resonate worldwide. He holds a Journalism degree from Columbia University, an Economics background from Yale University, and a medical degree with a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dexter’s insights into media, economics, and marketing shine through his prolific contributions to respected publications and advisory roles for influential organizations. As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures, Dexter prioritizes patient care above all. Outside his professional pursuits, Dexter enjoys collecting vintage watches, studying ancient civilizations, learning about astronomy, and participating in charity runs.
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