TARP, TARP: What Did We Learn?

So here's what I learned from angry Nevadans at today's hearing in Las Vegas on whether the TARP funds are helping:

--The TARP money going to banks isn't being used to lend.

--Community banks are being cut out of TARP funds and can't compete (and therefore won't lend).

--TARP has done nothing to slow foreclosures.

--The head of the Nevada Bankers Assn. says as many as half the loans in default around here are with people who won't return phone calls but have "thrown up their hands and walked away."

--Las Vegas is like Detroit, dependent on one industry (gaming) which is hurting. The joke here is that casino owners should go ask for a TARP bailout.

In the hallway I caught up with Sen. Harry Reid, who is supporting a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures. (See Reid interview, above.)

I also caught up with Ray De Herrera, who personifies the problem. He is in default on three homes. He's out of work, and now his tenants are out of work. What a mess. (See interview with De Herrera, at left.)


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