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Geithner promises TARP progress


Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner today said he expects financial institutions to repay $25 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program funds during the next year and that banks are finally “starting to heal” after a period of severe trauma, Reuters reported.

In a prepared statement in front of the Senate Banking Committee, Geithner said the government should have nearly $124 billion remaining of the $700 billion bailout funds that Congress approved last fall.

Geithner said financial companies have adjusted their operations to ensure they are not as vulnerable to shocks similar to the one they just went through. “Leverage has declined, the most vulnerable parts of the non-bank financial system no longer pose the same risk, and banks are funding themselves more conservatively,” he said.

During his remarks, Geithner also discussed the troubled automobile industry, claiming a presidential task force has been set up to deal with the collapse of the industry. He said the task force will continue to work with General Motors Corp. right up until the June 1 deadline.

Geithner said the Obama administration will make sure that financing remains readily available for creditworthy automobile dealers and that it will continue to try to boost demand for new cars.

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