Here's a look at TARP funds--they were actually used to make loans! Some were afraid this may not be the case for very much of the funds.
A TED talk (those things are great) by Dan Pink, former speechwriter for Al Gore. He talks about incentives, and how they can hurt. Also follow the links for similar talks by Dan Ariely.
Austin, TX looks like it's going to rebound this year, too. News for Texas looks relatively rosy.