A structure for overseeing the financial services industry's bailout is coming together.
The Government Accountability Office's 20-person oversight team is gearing up to release its first report on the Treasury Department's Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) on Dec. 2.
"There's a lot going on," said Tom McCool, the director of the GAO's Center for Economics. "We're trying to keep up."
McCool said that his agency is trying to figure out how to measure the success of the Treasury's direct investments in financial companies, and that it had been talking to regulators about the handling of bank applications for government funds.
The Financial Stability Oversight Board is a second source of oversight. It's made up of the heads of the Treasury, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Reserve Board, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Two other sources of supervision are not yet up and running.
The Senate Finance Committee held a confirmation hearing Monday for Neil Barofsky, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, who was selected by the White House as TARP special inspector general.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., praised Barofsky's resume, which includes confrontations with the Colombian rebel group FARC.
Barofsky will testify Wednesday before the Senate Banking Committee, and then the full Senate will vote on his nomination.
The Oct. 3 law that launched the bailout mandated a fourth watchdog group to be named by Congress. The Democrats named three members last week, but the Republicans have yet to announce their two picks. That panel will have a dual role of making monthly reports on Tarp's effectiveness and presenting a plan by Jan. 20 for remaking the regulatory system.
The three members chosen by the Democrats are Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard Law School professor who has advocated aggressively for bankruptcy reform; New York State Banking Department Superintendent Richard Neiman; and Damon Silvers, the associate general counsel for the AFL-CIO.