House Committee to Examine TARP
House Financial Services Committee chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) said late Wednesday that his committee would hold an oversight hearing Nov. 18 on the Troubled Asset Relief Program program being managed by the Treasury Department, the first such "check-in" on TARP by lawmakers since the plan was signed into law by President Bush on Oct. 3. The hearing will also focus on "related initiatives taken by the Federal Reserve Bank and the FDIC in response to the turmoil in domestic and global financial markets," according to a statement released by chairman Frank's office. Testifying will likely be members of the Treasury and FDIC, although Frank said he also wants to hear from institutions using or affected by the initiatives, as well as and academic experts. "While much of our attention is, appropriately, focused on the $700 billion TARP program recently passed by Congress; it is clear that Treasury has been working closely with both the Federal Reserve and the FDIC on broader coordinated initiatives," Frank said. "The Committee is interested in exploring the rationale for the specific steps already taken and to better understand how the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and the FDIC expect their actions to work and how, and over what time frame, they expect to be able to measure results." Frank has been vocal is voicing concern that the TARP funds aren't doing enough to help Main Street borrowers avoid foreclosure, and has suggested to the current administration that FDIC chairman Sheila Bair be formally appointed to a role involving loss mitigation under the Treasury program. Write to Paul Jackson at email@example.com.