Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How Much TARP Has Been Spent So Far?

Goldman Sachs is reported to return the TARP money it received on Wednesday, the first major bank TARP recipient to do so.

On this historic occasion, I thought it would be nice to find out how much TARP money has been spent already, and how the money is accounted for. Also, it would be nice to know what is the maximum amount of TARP money that can be spent.

I simply assumed there's a definite data table somewhere at the Treasury Department site, so I went and looked. There was a table, and here's the link.

According to this table (as of June 16, 2009, the most recent),

  • Capital Purchase Program (for banks): $197,610,325,000
  • Automotive Industry Financing Program: $79,966,778,971
  • Automotive Supplier Program: $6 billion
  • Targeted Investment Program (Citi and Bank of America): $40 billion ($20 bil each)
  • Asset Guarantee Program (Citi): $5 billion
  • Consumer and Business Lending Intiative Program (TALF LLC): $20 billion
  • Systemically Important Failing Institutions (AIG): $69,835,000,000

Total of roughly $418 billion dollars, counted at par.

However, I got too curious and went to take a look at Monthly Treasury Statements at the Treasury Department. TARP is a line item in Treasury's outlays. According to the Statements since October last year, Treasury Department's outlays of TARP is as follows (cumulative):

  • Oct 08: $115 billion
  • Nov 08: $191 billion
  • Dec 08: $242 billion
  • Jan 09: $280 billion
  • Feb 09: $290 billion
  • Mar 09: $293 billion
  • Apr 09: $117 billion (They changed the accounting from cash to net present value to make monthly outlays smaller thus less monthly deficit. The ostensible reason was to account for risk. If it were accounted the same way, it would have been $292 billion)
  • May 09: $135 billion ($310 billion, in old way of accounting)
We have about $108 billion gap... There was $30 billion that went to GM on June 3, so this Statement, covering through May 31, doesn't cover that. So we now have $78 billion gap. So, the same department (Treasury) issuing two different numbers for the same event for two different publications. Talk about transparency.

Actually I have one more guess about the amount. Treasury Department has a special account at the Federal Reserve, and that's $199 billion. If I remember right, that's the residual money for TARP. If that's the case, TARP spent is $700 billion minus $199 billion = $501 billion.

And there is this nagging question of "How much of the $700 billion bailout was for TARP?"

The short answer seems to be, "Who knows?" I give up.

With the super regulatory "council" coming our way with the Federal Reserve at the core, probably we simply should not expect an answer. Any answer.


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