TARP begins to run low

According to The Wall Street Journal, "The U.S. Treasury Department estimates that it has about $134.5 billion left in its financial-rescue fund, which would mean that about 81% of the $700 billion program has been committed." Some of those commitments may change. Some of the TARP funds already committed may be paid back by Goldman Sachs (GS) and others of the more healthy banks. But, the amount of capital in the TARP is running low.

Where does that leave the Treasury? Perhaps in a bind. Based on trading in bank stocks, there has been some optimism that the worst of the hundreds of billions of dollars in losses from mortgage-backed securities are over. But banks may face fresh losses. Some of these will come from consumer lending. Some will probably come from commercial loans.

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