Geithner: How to prevent America's next financial crisis
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrote an editorial in The Washington Post: America is close to turning the page on this economic crisis. While far too many Americans are still out of work and face deep economic hardship, we have now reported three quarters of positive growth and the beginnings of job creation. As the economy improves, we are winding down the Troubled Assets Relief Program, and Congress is moving toward enacting the strongest financial reforms since those that followed the Great Depression. In fact, we are repairing our financial system at much lower cost than anyone anticipated and expect to return hundreds of billions of dollars in available but unused TARP resources to the American people. That is a rare achievement in Washington. Our latest estimate conservatively puts the cost of TARP at $117 billion, and if Congress adopts the Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee that the president proposed in January, the cost to American taxpayers will be zero. More broadly, we estimate the overall cost of this crisis will be a fraction of what was originally feared and much less than what was required to resolve the savings-and-loan crisis of the 1980s.