How Much TARP Capital Money is Left?

November 23, 2008

Authored by: Robert Klingler

When the Treasury announced the TARP Capital program on October 14, 2008, the Treasury indicated that it had set aside $250 billion of the $700 billion authorized for the overall Troubled Asset Relief Program.  The $250 billion TARP Capital program was for the purchase of senior preferred stock, with $125 billion designated for the initial participants and $125 billion for the remainder of the banking industry.

As of November 20, 2008, the Wall Street Journal’s list of participants in the TARP Capital program identifies a total of $232.9 billion that has been completed, applied for, or publicly announced as pending.  However, the Wall Street Journal’s list includes the $40 billion in senior preferred stock to be purchased from the American International Group (AIG), as announced by the Treasury on November 10, 2008.

AIG’s $40 billion investment is part of the overall TARP Program, but is not part of the $250 billion set aside for the TARP Capital program.  As a result, the Wall Street Journal’s number should be reduced to $192.9 billion, indicating that there is approximately $57.1 billion remaining under the TARP Capital program (assuming all of the applicants on the WSJ’s list are ultimately approved).

The application by several large insurance companies to become bank holding companies in light of recent thrift acquisitions increases the industry’s total risk weighted assets, and may make TARP Capital more scarce.  However, the Treasury still has an additional $60 billion that it can invest without further Congressional approval.  With the Treasury’s announcement that it is unlikely to purchase assets directly, the Treasury may elect to expand the $250 billion TARP Capital program if there is sufficient demand from eligible institutions.

Update 11/24/08 – The U.S. Government’s additional support of Citigroup is similarly not part of the $250 billion set aside for TARP Capital, although portions of the assessment are out of the overall TARP program.  Specifically, $5 billion of the asset guarantee and the $20 billion preferred stock investment are covered by TARP.  As a result, the Treasury now has $35 billion that it can invest or otherwise use without further Congressional approval.