The myriad efforts to hold together the U.S. financial sector have been accompanied by a series of Treasury regulatory notices designed to ease the implementation of these measures. Most of the changes went unnoticed, but not Treasury Notice 2008-83, which gives a tax break to banks who acquire weaker institutions with built-in losses on their books.

The IRS has long targeted trafficking in net operating losses, and the current statutory limit dates back to 1986. Various U.S. senators and representatives charged Treasury with gouging the taxpayer, stealing from government tax coffers, or possibly crossing the conflict-of-interest line.

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