Bank of America has repaid it’s $45 billion portion of bailout money, bringing the total bank repayments to U.S. coffers to $118 billion, the U.S. Treasury said today. Moreover, the Treasury projects a $19 billion profit from its “bank investments” – stemming from the various bailout programs designed to stabilize the financial sector.
In a mostly critical report on the Treasury’s bailout efforts, a Congressionally-appointed oversight panel today called government efforts to steer howeowners away from foreclosure as inadequate. The panel also said tight credit conditions prevail as banks withold capital against future losses. “TARP was an important part of a broader government strategy that stabilized the U.S. financial system,” the report said. “It is apparent after 14 months, however, that significant underlying weaknesses in the financial system remain.”
The government’s bailout program is working and costing taxpayers less than anticipated – but will be extended until October 2010 to help more small businesses secure credit and rescue more homeowners from foreclosure, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said today. The bailout program extension would also serve as a safegaurd against any “immediate and substantial threat to the economy stemming from financial instability,” he said.
They testified before the House Financial Services Committee, one mortgage industry expert after another, and they all had a similar theme: the Obama Administration’s mortgage modification program is flawed and doesn’t address the rampant, crippling issue of negative equity.
Banking giant Chase today said it has offered more than 568,000 mortgage modifications – more than $100 billion in loans – to struggling homeowners hoping to avoid foreclosure in 2009. Chase, the nation’s largest credit card issuer, also reported that of those modifications, more than 83,000 have become permanent.
Now fueled to a growing degree by prime borrowers, the foreclosure crisis is not abating, and U.S. Treasury officials are hoping new incentives will accelerate short sales and other alternatives to rescue homeowners. Starting on April 30, amendments to the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) will offer new incentives to lenders to accelerate short sales or DILs.
The U.S. Treasury will earn $146.5 million from the auction of Capital One’s stock warrants, an arrangement that stems from the initial bailout of the banking giant. The Treasury said today it priced the warrants at $11.75 each in yesterday’s auction of 12.7 million Capital One stock warrants.
Financial giant Bank of America will repay the $45 billion it received in taxpayer funds as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, BofA announced today after reaching an agreement with the U.S. Treasury. “We appreciate the critical role that the U.S. government played last fall in helping to stabilize financial markets, and we are pleased to be able to fully repay the investment, with interest,” said Kenneth D. Lewis, chief executive officer and president.
In its first sale of assets acquired under the unpopular bank bailouts, the U.S. Treasury will auction warrants to buy stock in Capital One, one of the top credit card issuers, at a minimum price of $7.50. Capital One shares closed at $38.09 on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.
The compliance deadline on rules that would limit credit card and other payment methods on some forms of Internet gambling has been extended by six months, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury said in a combined statement. Federal officials were responding to concerns from members of Congress and associations representing financial institutions, many of which process credit card payments.