TARP Investment Earned Taxpayers 8.2% in Two Years

The TARP bailout of financial firms has yielded a return of 8.2% in two years.

This return, $25.2 billion on an investment of $309 billion, beats what could have been gained by U.S. Treasuries, high-yield savings accounts and certificates of deposit, Bloomberg News reported.

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When it was first announced, the TARP program was expected to cost the taxpayer billions of dollars. It is still expected to make a loss overall, but the money ploughed into the banks and insurance companies has been unexpectedly profitable.

"From the perspective of the taxpayers getting their money back, TARP has been a great success," Todd Petzel, chief investment officer at New York-based Offit Capital Advisors LLC told Bloomberg News.

The government's investment in automakers General Motors Co. and Chrysler LLC has been less successful. The government expects to lose about $17 billion on its $80 billion investment.