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The Truth About TARP and the Government’s Investment in Banks – UPDATED
U.S. Treasury states that the government’s investment in banks has earned taxpayers a $23 billion profit

This program is not the same as other TARP programs used to support troubled non-bank institutions, including AIG, GM and Chrysler.

  • Congress created the TARP program in October 2008, as part of the Emergency Economic Stability Act (EESA). Supported by the banking industry, the original intent of TARP was to purchase troubled assets. However, within days of enacting EESA, U.S. Treasury’s policy shifted to putting capital in U.S. banks, and the nine largest financial institutions in the country were requested to accept capital injections from a program that became the Capital Purchase Program (CPP).
  • The CPP program, a loan program designed to support healthy financial institutions, is not the same as other TARP programs used to support troubled non-bank institutions, including AIG, GM and Chrysler.
  •  $245 billion was invested in more than 700 banks. Through repayments, dividends, interest and other income, taxpayers have now recovered more than 100 percent (approximately $268 billion) of the approximately $245 billion in total funds disbursed for TARP investments in banks (as of 12/18/2012).  Additionally, Treasury currently estimates that bank programs within TARP will ultimately provide a lifetime profit of $23 billion to taxpayers.
  • It is reasonable for some banks that received CPP funds to use those funds to strengthen their balance sheets, cover losses and ensure adequate reserves. However, more than 80 percent of CPP participants used their capital injections to directly support lending, according to a 2011 report issue by Treasury; another 48 percent said the CPP funds helped bolster reserves that are required by their regulator to absorb losses.

“…assistance to banks, once thought to cost the taxpayers untold billions, is on track to actually reap billions in profits for the taxpaying public.”

    President Barack Obama, December 8, 2009

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