Banks still at risk from toxic assets


Despite the billions of dollars the U.S. government has spent bailing them out, many banks are still at risk because toxic assets have not been removed from their books, according to a Congressional watchdog group -- the Congressional Oversight Panel. The panel was created to give another layer of oversight beyond the the Special Inspector General for the TARP and regular audits by the Government Accountability Office.

TARP was created to get toxic assets off banks' books, but so far no one has come up with a plan that works. The Legacy Loan Program was the latest brainchild to help banks clean out their books, but no bank wanted to sign on to it because they didn't want to take the losses. So, instead, TARP is now being scaled down to deal with the toxic assets after a bank fails.