Government officials put trillions of taxpayer dollars on the line to guarantee risky bank assets — a strategy that could cause permanent and costly market distortions, a government watchdog says.
At the peak of the financial crisis, taxpayer money guaranteed assets worth $4.3 trillion to help banks ride out the panic. The programs, which essentially provided insurance against losses, helped stabilize financial markets but put far more taxpayer dollars at risk than Congress intended, according to the Congressional Oversight Panel.
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