The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is a program initiated by the US government, funded by taxpayers, in October 2008 to bail out the banking and housing sector after the 2008 financial crisis. Due to the program’s complexity and “repayment” schemes, there has been different estimates of what TARP would ultimately cost.
We looked at the various TARP estimates in August, 2011 trying to shed some light on two very fundamental questions — (1) Where has Uncle Sams’ bailout money gone (2) Has the money been paid back yet. At that time, we found some published non-government sources of the “amount outstanding” on TARP ranging from $239 billion tracked by Pro Publica to NYT’s $480 billion (CNNMoney data came to $357 billion). And there’s also one jaw-dropping outlier–$1.5 trillion–estimated by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD)