Thursday, April 26, 2012

Inspector General for TARP: Taxpayers will actually lose $60 billion

The White house claims taxpayers will make $24 billion off the TARP bailout. The Tarp Inspector General has a different number.

The current estimate of the eventual loss that taxpayers will be left with from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is $60bn, according to a report from the watchdog for the programme.

"It is a widely held misconception that TARP will make a profit," said Christy Romero, the inspector general for TARP.

Taxpayers are still owed $119bn from TARP, with the majority of that still tied up in the rescue of insurer AIG, carmaker General Motors and mortgage lender Ally Financial. The figure fell $133bn in January, according to the watchdog's quarterly report to Congress, as more banks have repaid the loans they received.

A reluctant Congress passed TARP in the autumn of 2008 as stock markets plunged, credit markets froze and America's financial system tottered. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is said to have told a meeting of top Congressman that the country would not have an economy the next day if Congress did not find the votes needed.

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