$132.9 Billion Still Owed to Tax Payers From Bailout

Taxpayers are still owed $132.9 billion from companies like General Motors and the American International Group Inc. who benefited from the financial bailout. Christy Romero, the acting special inspector general for the $700 billion bailout said that some of that money may never be recovered.

Romero says that the bailout, which started in September of 2008, could last for several more years. Some bailout programs, like the effort to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, will last until 2017 and will cost the government at least another $50 billion.

According to the Huffington Post, the American International Group Inc. owes close to $50 billion. General Motors Co. owes $25 billion and Ally Financial Inc. about $12 billion.

Romero also reports that 371 banks still owe taxpayers money. Regions Financial Corp. and Zions Bancorporation both owe more than $1 billion. Synovus Financial Corp., Popular Inc., First Bancorp of San Juan, Puerto Rico, $M&T Bank Corp., all owe seven figure amounts.

USA Today reports that after the 2008 financial crisis Congress authorized $700 billion to lend out to companies in need. About $413 billion was lent out to financial companies and automakers. So far, 77%, or about $318 billion, has been paid back.

Treasury spokesman Matt Anderson said that it could take years for the Treasury to break even. The Huffington Post notes that the Treasury would have to sell its stock for GM at $53.98 to break even. As of Wednesday, GM's stock was at $24.92.

Anderson said:

"We'll continue to balance the important goals of exiting our investments as soon as practicable and maximizing value for taxpayers."
Romero's report also uncovered fraud related to TARP. Criminal charges were brought against 10 people during the fourth quarter. Altogether, criminal charges have been brought against 61 people for fraud in relation to TARP.