Update: Treasury answers our inquiry here!
The Treasury Department hasn’t released the list of banks that are paying TARP dividends for August, breaking with its earlier precedent of publishing the data at FinancialStability.gov about three weeks into the following month.
The first set of payment data, for May, wasn’t published until June 17th. After that the releases took on a regular pattern. The June data was published on July 24. The July data was posted on August 20th.
So why hasn’t the Treasury posted the August data. The Treasury Department hasn’t responded to our calls or emails on the question so all we can do is speculate.
One of our readers has helpfully provided exactly the kind of speculation were going to engage in ourselves: it’s a cover up!
“My supposition is that many more banks aren’t paying than have been disclosed,” one of our readers writes. “I know of several that have been told by their regulators not to pay (although they continue to accrue the interest expense, at least for now). This is a ‘hidden indicator’ of which banks are now in trouble that weren’t when the TARP funds were first disbursed.”
Of course, there’s probably a far more innocent explanation. We hope Treasury gets around to telling us what it is soon.