Posted on 26 May 2011
It's been a pretty good week for The Treasury Department's bailout program had a pretty good week: Chrysler repaid a $5.9 billion high-interest loan, and Treasury is lowering its ownership stake in bailed-out insurer AIG through a stock sale that will bring in $8.7 billion.
But the 2008 TARP program is far from getting its money back: Taxpayers still are on the hook for $102 billion in loans.
Congress authorized $700 billion for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, but Treasury only paid out $411 billion. Of that amount, including the payments from Chrysler and AIG expected this week, $309 billion has been returned.
TARP loans were initially used to stabilize credit markets during the height of the financial crisis, and later to bail out automakers and jump start mortgage modification programs.
A couple years ago, it was anybody's guess whether these loans would be repaid. Now, various parts of the program are starting to pay dividends. Others, not so much.
Banks, many of which were on the brink of collapse in 2008, got $245 billion in the bailout bonanza. Not every bank has paid back those loans, and in fact, there is still $23 billion outstanding.
But Treasury is currently turning a profit on the bank bailout due to interest payments from banks that weathered the storm. Total cash back: $252 billion at last count.
Some other bailout accounts are not faring as well. AIG and General Motors are still still on the hook
Even after AIG's share sale, Treasury will still own about 75% of the company's stock. As long as AIG shares stay above $29, Treasury will be able to make a profit on its outstanding $50 billion investment.
But AIG stock is one of the worst performing in the market, having declined by almost half so far this year. That could complicate things for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner as he tries to extract maximum value from the government's holdings.
AIG stock's slide may hurt taxpayers
Meanwhile, Treasury still has $23 billion outstanding with GM. That's about half the original $51 billion loan.
Ally, the leading lender to U.S. car buyers, was known as GMAC when it was rescued by Treasury at the end of 2008, and it still owes $14 billion of its initial $16 billion loan.
Other programs aimed at making loans to small businesses and propping up the credit markets to make loans more available are also in the red, but are expected to recoup most of their costs.
And really, that's the endgame for Treasury. Will the interest on loans and warrants put the bailout in the black? The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office thinks it will be close.
According to CBO's latest estimate, TARP -- the whole program -- will ultimately cost taxpayers $19 billion, mostly due to losses from assistance to AIG, the auto industry and mortgage modification programs.