White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel says the government has enough money on hand to keep President Obama from having to ask Congress to approve more Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) funds to use for bailing out troubled banks.
“We have a facility to buy these troubled assets off their banks,” Emmanuel told ABC News “If they need capital, we have that capacity.”
Acknowledging that he hasn’t seen the results of the banks’ stress tests yet, Emmanuel pointed out that, during the first quarter, 19 major banks and financial institutions did better.
“I think we're all pleased that they're reporting profits," Emmanuel says.
“But that doesn't take away that some are going to need resources.”
“We believe we have those resources available in the government as the final backstop to make sure that the 19 are financially viable and effective."
It sounds reassuring, but Congress is still plenty confused about what is really doing on with the bailout.
Last week, a congressional panel headed by former Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren released a report on Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's handling of the TARP.
The report makes clear that Congress is frustrated with Geithner's plan and doesn't have the foggiest idea of what he is trying to do.
"With this report, the Congressional Oversight Panel examines Treasury’s current strategy and evaluates the progress it has achieved thus far,” the study begins.
“This report returns the Panel’s inquiry to a central question raised in its first report: What is Treasury’s strategy?"
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