Geithner says US government not taking over economy

Timothy Geithner - US Treasury Secretary

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Sunday refuted charges President Barack Obama planned to use the financial bailout of troubled US firms to increase the government’s stake in the US economy.

“President Obama adopted a strategy designed to get the government out of the private sector as quickly as possible,” Geithner wrote in an op-ed piece published by The Washington Post.

The comments came after the Troubled Asset Relief Program expired last week.

TARP had at one point called for 700 billion dollars of taxpayer money to be handed over to Wall Street institutions to shore them up in the midst of the global economic crisis.

The treasure secretary said that to date, the government had recovered more than 200 billion dollars in TARP funds, as well as made 28 billion in profits.

The US government would exit insurance giant AIG and the automotive industry “much faster than anyone predicted,” he added.

“General Motors is planning an initial public offering for later this year, and AIG has announced a restructuring plan that will accelerate the timeline for repaying the government,” he said.

Geithner noted that because of TARP, “the financial security of all Americans is much stronger today than it would have been without the rescue strategy that the program made possible.”

According to US Treasury figures, released October 3, TARP cost about 50 billion dollars, substantially less than anticipated just a few months ago.
Source: AP

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