USA Today is reporting that "[b]anks that received federal assistance during the financial crisis reduced lending more aggressively and gave bigger pay raises to employees than institutions that didn't get aid."
I'm not privy to the data of the full study, which was conducted jointly by American University and USA Today, but the results appear to support a possible conclusion that TARP money wasn't used for its intended purpose, and that if TARP indeed was a success, it was only psychological in nature (preventing further runs in the stock market).
The most damning piece of data, IMO, is that average pay at banks getting aid rose 9.4% in the program's first year, as opposed to non-TARP banks, which only increased salaries 1.8%. This makes a lot of sense, considering that public employees always seem to get raises while the private sector is having massive layoffs. Why should bailout beneficiaries be any different?