In its May monthly Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) report to Congress Friday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that TARP repayments to taxpayers have, for the first time, surpassed the total amount of TARP funds outstanding.
Treasury's report showed that, through the end of the May, TARP repayments had reached a total of $194 billion, which exceeded the total amount of TARP funds outstanding ($190 billion) by $4 billion.
""TARP repayments have continued to exceed expectations, substantially reducing the projected cost of this program to taxpayers,"" said Herb Allison, assistant secretary for financial stability. ""This milestone is further evidence that TARP is achieving its intended objectives: stabilizing our financial system and laying the groundwork for economic recovery.""
The threshold was officially broken when Treasury completed its sale of 1.5 billion shares of Citigroup last month Ã¢â‚¬" a transaction that provided gross proceeds of $6.18 billion to taxpayers.
In addition to the $194 billion in TARP repayments, the report also showed that taxpayers have received a further return on TARP investments of $23 billion through dividends, interest, and other income.
Overall combined TARP revenues, including repayments and other income, totaled $217 billion through the end of May.
The overall projected cost of the government's bailout program has declined dramatically as companies' repayments have continued to flow into the Treasury and exceeded the administration's earlier estimates.
In late May, Treasury notified Congress that the projected lifetime cost of TARP has decreased by $11.4 billion to $105.4 billion.
As recently as the midsession review released last August, the administration had estimated the cost of TARP to be $341 billion.
Going forward, over the life of the program, additional TARP expenditures are expected to be laid out for housing initiatives and other programs, such as those to assist smaller banks and the securitization markets, but Treasury still expects that repayments will continue to exceed outstanding funds.