Treasury Used $364bn of TARP funds in 2009
The US Treasury Department’s report summarizing its activities for the fiscal year 2009 showed lower projected costs and higher anticipated returns of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). While the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA) gave Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner the authority to use $700bn to meet the objectives of the Act, the report shows that TARP will not cost taxpayers the full amount. The Treasury Office of Financial Stability (OFS) used $364bn of the $700bn available funds, mostly in investments according to the report, and $73bn of the TARP funds have already been repaid. Bank of America last week committed to repaying the $45bn it received through the program. In a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Geithner wrote that half of the taxpayer dollars received would be repaid through TARP. He also extended the program to Oct. 3, 2010 and wrote that he did not expect to spend more than $550bn of the $700bn potential. The report also showed some cash coming back to the Treasury through interest, dividends and proceeds from the sale of warrants. Through Sept. 30, 2009, the investments generated $12.7bn for the Treasury. Despite the proceeds, the OFS reported $41.6bn in administrative expenses for the TARP disbursements. The total costs are expected to mount, according to the report, but will remain “substantially below” the $341bn estimated in President Obama’s mid-session budget in August 2009. As the Treasury makes more disbursements in 2010, TARP costs are expected to rise because of programs not designed to recoup funds, such as the $50bn allocated for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). “The ultimate cost of TARP will not be known for some time. The combination of lower spending and higher expected returns has already significantly lowered the estimated cost from our earlier estimates,” Herb Allison, assistant secretary of the OFS, wrote in the report. “However, as additional funds are distributed, particularly for the housing initiative, the total cost is likely to rise.” Write to Jon Prior.