As demonstrated by Donald Barlett and James Steele of Vanity Fair. They devote 6,500 words to the (shocking!) revelation that no one knows exactly what each bank did with its TARP money, because Treasury hasn't been "tracing" TARP funds. Apparently no one pulled Barlett and Steele aside and explained to them that money is fungible—once TARP money is credited to a bank's Federal Reserve account, it becomes indistinguishable from the rest of the money the bank has in that account. When you take $20 out of the ATM, do you know exactly which of your deposits the $20 came from? No, because money is fungible. Treasury could have asked the banks what they did that, without TARP, they would not have, but since there's no way to verify a bank's claim, all the banks would've claimed that they spent their TARP money on apple pie and American flags. So after 6,500 words, the basic conclusion is: Treasury injected a lot of money into a lot of banks, and a handful of those banks have business practices that, while not against the law, you may find unsavory.