October 11, 2012
This CBO report (available in pdf format) assesses the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) as of September 17, 2012. The report shows the following:
- CBO estimates that the net cost to the federal government of the TARP's transactions, including the cost of grants for mortgage programs that have not been made yet, will amount to $24 billion.
- CBO's estimate in this report of the cost of the TARP's transactions is $8 billion lower than the $32 billion estimate shown in the agency's previous report published in March 2012.
- In its latest estimate, OMB projects the program's costs to total $63 billion, or $39 billion higher than CBO’s estimate.
By CBO’s estimate, $431 billion of the $700 billion initially authorized for the TARP will ultimately be disbursed, including $417 billion that has already been disbursed and $14 billion in additional projected disbursements. The estimated net cost for the TARP of $24 billion represents the estimated subsidy cost of all transactions under the program. As specified in the law that established the TARP, CBO values the program’s asset purchases and guarantees using procedures similar to those specified in the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990, but with an adjustment for market risk. Those procedures call for estimating a present value of projected future cash flows by discounting such cash flows using a rate that reflects the Treasury’s borrowing rate plus a premium that represents what a private investor would require as compensation for the risk of the transaction.
Most of the estimated net subsidy of $24 billion for the TARP represents net costs for assistance to American International Group (AIG), assistance to the automotive industry, and grant programs aimed at avoiding home foreclosures.