Did the TARP money really get paid back?

Back to the major institutions: AIG and GMAC are the stuff of nightmares. In the case of AIG, we put up $40 billion for a company whose entire market capitalization, if I’m reading Yahoo right, is $5 billion. And the automakers have not paid back the capital we put into them, because the government took equity instead, which is why we own a tenth of Chrysler and three-fifths of GM. GM proudly advertised that it has repaid its government loan, which it did — out of a taxpayer-funded escrow account, i.e., it “repaid” its government money with government money. Senator Grassley blew a righteous head gasket over that shenanigan, the Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a false-advertising complaint in response to GM’s dishonest PR campaign, and the stink rose so high that even the New York Times caught a whiff.

So there’s that.

Oh, yeah: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have an infinite line of credit at Treasury and portfolios bursting with the worst kind of junk. Plus, we’re going to lose a bundle on the mortgage-assistance programs tacked on to TARP.