CBO's Latest Projections for the TARP

August 20, 2010

In March, CBO estimated that the total cost of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) would be $109 billion over the life of the program.  That estimate (which represented the present value, adjusted for market risk, of the program’s activities) was based on market values in February, actions that had occurred up to that time, and an assumption that additional amounts would be allocated to programs that were not yet specified.  In the baseline budget projections that CBO released yesterday, the lifetime cost of the program has been reduced to $66 billion.  Three factors account for the reduction: further repurchases of preferred stock and sales of warrants from banks, a lower estimated cost for assistance to the automobile industry, and the elimination (due to the passage of time and provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, P.L. 111-203) of the opportunity to create new programs.  Additional information about CBO’s current projections of the cost of the TARP can be found on page 9 of yesterday’s Budget and Economic Outlook: An Update.  CBO will release its next report on the activities and cost of the TARP in the fall.