Portal:Financial Crisis/Financial Crisis Resources

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Why did we undertake this project when other news organizations and individuals have done the same? In some instances, we considered their focus too broad and in some instances too narrow. For example, the respected news organization ProPublica has produced a Bailout Guide which does an excellent job of tracking the U.S. Treasury's $700 billion TARP program. We commend their excellent work and encourage you to visit their website for a complete list of banks that have benefited from this program. However, ProPublica does not include in their tally the vast majority of funds, which were Federal Reserve programs included in our tally.

Similarly, CNN has an impressive Bailout Tracker. But CNN includes in its count the Economic Stimulus Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, assistance to automakers, unemployment compensation, student loan aid, "Cash for Clunkers" and other programs passed by Congress in 2008 to save or create jobs and help the citizenry, not Wall Street banks. While these programs entail a cost to taxpayers, we do not think they are properly categorized as "Wall Street Bailout" programs.

Others including Bloomberg News, the U.S. Special Inspector General for the TARP and respected financial analyst Nomi Prins, have calculated maximum possible exposure to the taxpayers of all bailout programs. Of these, we think that Ms. Prins's work is closest to the mark, but our focus is on actual funds disbursed, not on theoretical upper levels of exposure.