Taxpayers Scammed for $78 Billion

Sunday, February 08, 2009

On October 20, 2008, then-Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson, in explaining how the bailout of banks and others would work, told Americans that “This is an investment, not an expenditure, and there is no reason to expect this program will cost taxpayers anything.” He assured Americans that they would “own shares that should be paid back with a reasonable return.” But it turned out that there was a catch. In its monthly report, the Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP, using figures supplied by the international valuation firm, Duff & Phelps, determined that the Treasury Department paid $254 billion for stock that was only worth $176 billion, providing a subsidy of $78 billion to AIG and the eight largest banks and financial institutions. Among the biggest overpayments:

$40 billion to AIG for an investment only worth $14.8 billion;
$45 billion paid out to Citigroup for stock that was only worth $25.5 billion;
$10 billion to Morgan Stanley for stock worth only $5.8 billion.


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