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Treasury’s Toxic Mortgage Program Pulls in $1.7B

The program launched by ""Treasury"":http://www.treasury.gov in March 2009 to take toxic mortgage assets off banks' books has earned $1.7 billion for taxpayers -- $500 million in dividends on the investments made and $1.2 billion in ""unrealized gains"" as the value of securities purchased under the program has increased.

Although the whole bailout bash began on the premise that the money would be used to buy up troubled[IMAGE] [COLUMN_BREAK]

mortgages â€" a point former TARP Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky was ""fond of reminding lawmakers"":http://dsnews.comarticles/bank-bailouts-in-black-but-watchdog-asks-what-about-toxic-mortgages-2011-03-31 â€" the Public-Private Investment Program (PPIP) was the only initiative designed to deal directly with the problem loans that catapulted the housing industry, and then the nation, into its downward spiral.

Under the program, investment funds have been set up by private equity firms, in collaboration with the U.S. Treasury, to purchase legacy mortgage securities. Private investors have put in a collective $7.4 billion to while taxpayers have shouldered about double that â€" a matching $7.4 billion in equity capital, in addition to $14.7 billion of debt capital commitments.

Of the $29.4 billion available, Treasury says the investment funds have drawn down $20.9 billion, or just over 70 percent.

The private investment firms participating in the program â€" including the likes of AllianceBernstein, BlackRock, and Invesco â€" are seeing returns ranging from 27 to 75 percent.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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