TARP Ends Sunday, Bailout Losses Still Unresolved

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The much-maligned Troubled Asset Relief Program, also known as TARP, is set to expire on Sunday.

However, the U.S. Treasury Department is a long way from recovering the $190 billion in TARP funds still outstanding. According to the Congressional Budget Office's most recent estimate, about $66 billion of that money will never be returned to taxpayers. 

The controversial $700 billion bailout began in 2008 with bipartisan support.  Its purpose was to give the Treasury the power to buy up the toxic assets of financial firms that were drowning in the sub-prime mortgage crisis.
Since then, Republicans and the Tea Party have severely criticized the program. Even President Obama has said it must go.

Meanwhile, experts like Peter Morici, an economist and professor at the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland in College Park, say the program worked - but not completely.

"It helped the large New York banks -- these are largely stable now.  Unfortunately, many regional banks continue to fail," Morici said.

Although no new TARP funds will be dispersed after Sunday, the Treasury Department will continue to oversee some 600 banks still holding federal bailout money.

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