Troubled Asset Relief Program Not Buying Troubled Assets After All

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"Duh." Photo: Getty Images

It feels like just a little over a month ago that Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson asked Congress to give him $700 billion so that he could follow through with his genius, visionary plan of spending it all on distressed assets, doesn't it? Oh, it was. But apparently he is over that now. "Our assessment at this time is that this is not the most effective way to use TARP funds, but we will continue to examine whether targeted forms of asset purchase can play a useful role," he said in his remarks at a news conference today, remarks that conspicuously lacked the phrase "my bad." According to the Journal, "people familiar with the matter" say the Treasury "has no current plans to purchase assets" and is instead focused on investing directly in financial firms. Whatever. Where's our bread allotment? [WSJ]