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Geithner: Taxpayers recovering on bailout

Timothy Geithner

Timothy Geithner

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday taxpayers are recovering their investment from the financial bailouts as the program is wound down. But he acknowledged there likely will be a loss from the rescue of insurer AIG.

Geithner told a watchdog panel that banks have repaid about 75 percent of the bailout money they received, and the government’s investments in aided banks have brought taxpayers $21 billion.

Geithner also said at a hearing of the Congressional Oversight Panel that the auto industry has made significant structural changes and the prospects that General Motors and Chrysler will repay the bailout money have improved.

The oversight panel was created by Congress to oversee the Treasury Department’s $700 billion financial bailout program that came in at the height of the financial crisis in the fall of 2008. The panel has been critical of the program, known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP.

TARP “has helped restore financial stability at a much lower cost than anticipated,” Geithner said in his testimony. “We have already recovered more than half of total disbursements under the program. And TARP investments have generated $24 billion in additional revenue for taxpayers.”

Panel Chairwoman, Elizabeth Warren said that with the TARP’s Oct. 3 expiration approaching, “this panel must know whether Treasury has carefully monitored the financial system to measure potential risks.”

“Treasury has refused to call for additional stress tests of our financial system,” Warren said.