Tags: TARP | CBO | OMB | 24 billion

CBO Lowers Estimated TARP Costs by 25%

Friday, 12 Oct 2012 11:54 AM

By Michelle Smith

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The massive bailouts of 2008 are still a contentious issue, but those critics who point to the costs seem to have a little less ammunition, as the Congressional Business Office (CBO) now estimates that Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) will cost $24 billion, 25 percent less than previously expected.

TARP was initially positioned to purchase troubled mortgage assets from banks, but was ultimately used to inject capital directly into financial institutions in return for preferred equity stakes, according to Forbes.

The initial losses will not come from that first round of spending, as all of the initial bank investments have been repaid, Forbes added.

Editor's Note: You Deserve to Know What Obama and Bernanke Are Hiding From Americans

Besides being used for the biggest banks, TARP was tapped to bailout smaller banks, the auto industry and insurance giant American International Group (AIG).

TARP's lower cost is primarily due to a better-than-expected return on the sale of stock of AIG, the CBO said. Those shares were sold at a better price than the CBO had estimated in March.

This particular bailout was estimated to cost $22 billion, but it now appears that the price tag will be $14 billion.

The CBO also raised its estimate of Treasury's profit on the bank bailout by $1 billion to $18 billion, according to CNNMoney. But that increase was offset by a $1 billion increase in the estimated cost of the auto industry bailout, which CBO now estimates will cost $20 billion.

The updated numbers from the CBO conflict slightly with those of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which peg the ultimate cost of TARP $39 billion higher at $63 billion, Forbes reported.

The two totals differ on the returns delivered from the capital purchase program, according to Forbes. The CBO figures the program will turn an $18 billion profit, while the OMB is counting on just a $7 billion net gain.

Editor's Note: You Deserve to Know What Obama and Bernanke Are Hiding From Americans


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