Passed in October 2008, the Troubled Asset Relief Program authorized the government to spend up to $700 billion bailing out and holding up the financial system. Of the total authorized funds, $245 billion was spent on aid to banks, mostly in the form of buying direct investment stakes; $80 billion on aid to car companies; $68 billion on aid to prop up the insurance giant American International Group (AIG); and $8 billion on housing aid programs.
The Treasury Department, which regularly sends out updates on the program touting its financial returns, has been struggling to get the message across that much of the TARP money has been recovered, some $417.2 billion of the $420 billion spent, according to their calculations. And they may have finally figured out the way to do it: charts!
Matthew Zeitlin is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Zeitlin reports on Wall Street and big banks.
Contact Matthew Zeitlin at email@example.com.
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