Jonathan Weil–Hope for Treasury Bailout Profits Rests on Fuzzy Math

Here’s a breakdown of the numbers. The report, citing White House budget office figures, estimated $46 billion of costs under the Troubled Asset Relief Program to support struggling homeowners. It showed $2 billion of overall gains on the Treasury’s investments in various bailed-out companies, such as American International Group Inc. (AIG), some of which are held outside of TARP. Other Treasury programs to buy mortgage-backed securities and to guarantee money-market funds would produce $26 billion of gains, the report said.

Add up those categories, and the projected net cost so far is $18 billion. On top of that, there’s the current net cost of the government-sponsored housing financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which the Treasury pegged at $151 billion. So how did Treasury project a potential gain overall?

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Federal Reserve, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector, The National Deficit, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package, The U.S. Government, Theology, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner