TARP bailout companies still owe taxpayers $132.9 billion

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An upset Uncle Sam contemplates and empty U.S. Treasury, depicted as an empty safe.

U.S. taxpayers are still owed $132.9 billion from TARP. (Photo Credit: CC BY/Infrogmation/Fotopedia)

U.S. taxpayers are still owed $132.9 billion by companies that haven’t repaid their Troubled Asset Relief Program debt, reports the Detroit Free Press. Some of it will never be recovered from the automakers that were deemed “too big to fail.”

Years of auto bailout blues

Launched at the zenith of the financial crisis in September 2008, the automotive bailout will reportedly continue on for years, according to Christy Romero, the acting inspector general for the $700 billion bailout. Home mortgage bailout programs – the deepest of the bunch within TARP – will last as late as 2017, costing the U.S. government $51 billion or so more.

Stock market prices have made it difficult for the U.S. Treasury to sell off stake in its 458 bailed-out organizations. Chief among them are AIG, General Motors and Ally Financial. To sell stock in these at or above the break even price – currently $53.98 per share for GM – it will take “a long time” for the rebound to complete, notes the TARP report. Market volatility and struggling banks have stretched the time line interminably.

[Don’t wait forever for the Atlanta Scion of your dreams.]

‘TARP is not over’

Of the $413.4 billion that has actually been paid out for TARP, the U.S. government has recovered about $318 billion.

“TARP is not over,” Romero said.

Matt Anderson, a spokesman for the U.S. Treasury, noted that substantial progress has been made, however. More than 77 percent of disbursed funds have been recovered.

“We’ll continue to balance the important goals of exiting our investments as soon as practicable and maximizing value for taxpayers,” Anderson said.

Chrysler and lending arm investments unwound

The U.S. government’s investment in Chrysler Group and Chrysler Financial have been resolved, according to the Free Press. In addition, the Treasury has sold its last batch of securities under the $368 million Small Business Administration loan program, an aspect of the TARP agreement.


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