Higher estimates of TARP's cost to taxpayers
The Congressional Budget Office has quietly altered its estimate of the ultimate cost to taxpayers of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, now figuring the initiative will be much more expensive in the long run than it previously figured.
Some TARP outlays eventually will be returned to the government as banks return capital the Treasury has invested in them or as the government sells loans or securities it acquires as part of the financial rescue.
In January, the CBO pegged the ultimate cost to taxpayers of the $700 billion TARP at $189 billion. When the agency issued revised numbers in late March, it revised that to $356 billion, a change that drew little attention. The larger estimate reflects, among other things, the Treasury's move to use the TARP to help avoid foreclosures, as well as the changing details of its aid to American International Group Inc., and the deterioration of financial conditions and of banks in which the Treasury has invested TARP money. . . . .