On Wednesday, the Treasury said that KeyCorp and SunTrust Banks repaid their bailout funds, helping the government claim a $6 billion profit on the bailout program for banks. The Treasury projects it will receive another $14 billion as hundreds of smaller banks repay their bailout funds.
The Treasury is also claiming it will make a $12 billion profit when it winds down its 92 percent ownership stake in the American International Group later this year, although for now that is only on paper. It also assumes that large stake can be sold at current prices, even though unloading such a big position could depress its value.
Those gains could also disappear if several big losses materialize. The Treasury projects the bailouts of General Motors, Chrysler and Ally Financial could cost it about $15 billion, while losses from the government’s beleaguered mortgage modification programs, like HAMP, could wind up reaching $46 billion. (With only about $1 billion of HAMP funds disbursed so far, bailout watchers say the actual loses could be sharply lower.)
Still, the TARP bailout was only one part of the government’s rescue. Counting other federal aid programs allows the administration to radically reduce its overall cost of the effort.
As part of its analysis, the Treasury included in its profit estimates about $1.2 billion from fees it collected from federal guarantees on money market mutual funds during the crisis. It also included realized gains of $22.5 billion from a series of Federal Reserve emergency aid programs designed to get credit flowing again.
But the bulk of its gains come from a bounce-back in the value of more than $1.6 trillion in mortgage bonds and other debt that the government bought as the financial crisis worsened between 2008 and early 2010, in an effort to prop up the housing market. The Treasury has realized about $13.5 billion in income from interest payments of these bonds through the end of 2010, while the Federal Reserve has earned about $72.5 billion on a similar portfolio of securities backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Treasury officials project they will collect at least another $16 billion over the next few years.