The always insightful Peter Davis over at Capital Gains and Games puts TARP in perspective:
However, the bigger picture is that there are approximately $3.6 trillion of troubled assets on bank balance sheets, a lot more than can be cleaned up with $700 b. of TARP. ... So will Congress put more taxpayer money into TARP when the need arises? For the next few months, the answer is clearly a resounding NO! Over the past month, in hearing after hearing, members of both parties in both houses of Congress have railed against the bad deal the taxpayers are getting under TARP.
Me: And that, of course, is a big reason why Hank Paulson abandoned his plan to buy toxic assets. He needed a bigger boat and knew Congress would not give him one.