TARP Paying Off…At Least For Now.

Whoa, caught whiff of this just now:

On June 9, the Treasury Department announced that 10 of the largest financial institutions that participated in the Capital Purchase Program (through TARP) have been approved to repay $68 billion. Yes, they had to be approved to repay the money. The companies had to prove they no longer needed the money, because the government doesn’t want them begging for more down the road.

To date, those 10 companies have paid dividends on their preferred stock to the Treasury totaling about $1.8 billion, the Treasury announced. Overall, dividend payments from all of the 600 bank participants has come to about $4.5 billion so far. That’s commensurate with the 5 percent (annualized) dividend return that was part of the terms of the program.

Bank analyst Bert Ely said while the government may end up losing money on investments in some financial firms, it’s likely the entirety of the bank portion of the TARP will ultimately turn a profit.

The 5 percent paid in dividends on preferred stock purchased by the Treasury will certainly outpace the interest rate on money borrowed to finance the program, he said. And the warrants could also prove profitable.

“People think the government gave banks money,” Ely said. “They made investments in banks.”

So we could still end up losing money, but at least for now, it seems like it was a wise move.

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