The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) doled out more than $700 billion in 2009 and 2010, mostly to aid troubled banks boost their liquidity. More than $500 billion has been repaid, with interest, but some recipients still owe US taxpayers $133 billion. If and when that money will be repaid remains a question.
Three major TARP recipients, American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG), General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), and Chrysler Corp. account for about $90 billion of the outstanding funds, and small banks and thrift institutions owe about $20 billion, according to Time Business. The government has no repayment plan in place for the financial institutions and US ownership stakes in AIG, GM, and Chrysler are underwater.
Depending on one’s view of the world, spending $133 billion to avoid a second Great Depression was either a bargain or a boondoggle.