You know the terrible, awful, no-good bailout to evil companies and undeserving businesses that wasted gazillions in taxpayer money and cost everyone involved mucho political capital?
Funny thing. Not only did it likely stave off a total collapse, it's slowly becoming the best investment we taxpayers have made in a long time.
The Treasury is authorized to spend $475 billion of the TARP (In July 2010, the financial regulation overhaul reduced TARP’s spending cap to $475 billion from the original $700 billion.). It has created 13 different programs, to which it has promised $465 billion.Hat's off to Hank Paulson for his courage and extremely hard work. And props to President Bush for supporting the unpopular move.
The government committed bailout money to 925 recipients. Those recipients have received a total of $418 billion. A total of $364 billion has been returned.
The Treasury has been earning a return on most of the TARP money invested or loaned. So far, the total return is: $50.6B.
The main sources of that revenue are $22.2 billion through dividend or interest payments, $19 billion from sales of equity or other assets that Treasury acquired (mostly stock in Citigroup); and $9.39 billion through stock warrants which Treasury received as part of most of the investments. When companies pay back the TARP investment, the warrants are either sold back to the company or auctioned off.
When those revenues are taken into account, $3.18 billion is the net amount still outstanding.
While the Treasury has paid out money to 925 recipients, only 780 of those received funds via investments meant to return money to taxpayers. The rest received subsidies through TARP’s housing programs – that money (so far totaling $6.38 billion) isn’t coming back.
Of the 780 investments made by the Treasury, 469 have resulted in a profit. 75 of the investments resulted in a loss. So far, the profits amount to $43.4 billion, while the losses amount to $5.02 billion. 236 of the investments are still outstanding. [More scrupulously careful accounting]
But wait - there's more! Even the money thrown down the Freddie/Fannie rathole (technically not part of the TARP) may not be beyond recovery. (See above source).