Fred Lucas
January 14, 2009

Congress, in passing the $700-billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, expected some of the money handed to financial institutions to ease the credit crunch and help reduce the number of home foreclosures.

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But a report released Friday faulted the first, $350-billion phase of the bailout for lacking transparency and accountability and for doing little to alleviate the rising number of foreclosures.

“The panel still does not know what the banks are doing with taxpayer money,” said the five-member Congressional Oversight Panel in the report released Friday. “So long as investors and customers are uncertain about how taxpayer funds are being used, they question both the health and sound management of all financial institutions.”

The Congressional Oversight Panel Report questioned whether the Treasury Department’s purchase of “toxic” assets is working.

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