TARP panel seeks to create new jobs for stress testers

Milton Friedman once said: "Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program." Perhaps this quote was unfinished, and should read, "especially when the temporary government program defines the scope of its tasks." Today, the Congressional Oversight Panel responsible for assessing the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) has concluded that more extensive and continued oversight is necessary, validating concerns of those wary about increasing government involvement in the financial system.

As Tim Catts notes, the panel seeks to widely expand its powers to review banks. Specifically, it suggests re-doing the stress tests if unemployment turns out to be higher than assumption used when calculating the original stress tests, if banks "continue to hold large amounts of toxic assets on their books," or if regulators "believe that doing so would help promote a healthy banking system."