Treasury secretary Tim Geithner defended the government's bailout of the financial system on Tuesday, saying it has been a "critical" part of the economic recovery and will ultimately cost less than expected. Geithner is testifying before the Congressional Oversight Panel, the main watchdog for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. The government enacted TARP in 2008 at the height of the financial crisis. The program is due to expire in October.