Not So Bad

Bailouts Cost Just $29 Billion

The controversial federal bailouts passed under President George W. Bush two years ago will cost taxpayers $29 billion, far less than earlier estimates of about $350 billion. The Treasury Department is declaring the Troubled Asset Relief Program a success, and one reason for the reduced cost is the profits coming from the sale of shares of AIG. Without that $22 billion profit, the price of TARP would be $51 billion. Most of the losses come from the bailouts of GM and Chrysler ($17 billion lost) and programs to deal with the housing crisis ($46 billion lost), such as mortgage modification. Almost 80 percent of banks that received money have paid it back, and Treasury says that small banks that got bailout money made more loans than banks that didn’t.