Analyst says Treasury getting good deal on TARP warrant paybacks

Much of the controversy over the TARP program has been assertions by critics that the big banks were getting sweetheart deals as they exited the program. The criticism focused, in particular, on the warrants that the U.S. Treasury received as part of its investment in the banks. These warrants function like stock options, giving the holder the right to purchase a designated number of shares at a designated price.

The warrants give Treasury the chance to make money for coming to the banks' aid when they needed it most -- as the banks' stock price recovers, the Treasury can realize an investment gain for the taxpayers. Critics have charged that the banks want to repurchase the warrants quickly and at very low prices. So is TARP working out good for the taxpayers?


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