On December 31, 2008, the Treasury announced the establishment of an Asset Guarantee Program, as required by Section 102(a) of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.  The program provides guarantees for assets originated before March 14, 2008 held by systemically significant financial institutions that face a high risk of losing market confidence due in part to a large portfolio of distressed or illiquid assets.  While the program is required by statute, it appears unlikely that the Asset Guarantee Program will be a significant part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program.  “The program will be applied with extreme discretion in order to improve market confidence in the systematically significant institution and in financial markets broadly.  It is not anticipated that the program will be made widely available.”