Tim Geithner's Got Great News

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We are getting a bargain on this TARP business.

"The cost of TARP is likely to be no greater than the amount spent on the program's housing initiatives," Geithner said in prepared testimony to the Congressional Oversight Panel. He said the direct financial cost of TARP was once estimated as high as $350 billion by the Congressional Budget Office but was now "likely to cost a fraction of that amount" as investments are sold off and interest and dividends collected. The latest estimate from the non-partisan CBO estimated that TARP's net cost will be as low as $25 billion. The Treasury's most recent all-in cost estimate for TARP, including expected gains from AIG investments, is about $30 billion.

Geithner said the 1 percent of GDP cost for all rescues -- including capital support to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. and actions taken by the Federal Reserve -- is "remarkably low" compared to other past banking crises.

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Let's Help Tim Geithner Name His Book

As you may have heard, Obama is apparently close to nominating Jack Lew for Treasury Secretary, giving Tim Geithner his late Christmas wish: a one-way ticket outta there. And while he's previously said to have no interest in writing about his time in Washington (and at the NY Fed before that), friends o' TG claim that his plan for the next year or so involve "a round of 'detox' and writing a book." Obviously we're still very far off from anything concrete but publishers will undoubtedly be banging down his door in no time and when they do, it might be nice to at least have a title to wet their palates. While Geithner packs his bags, let's do him a solid and come up with some options. The year spent sunning himself off the coast of Ko Samui (or puttering around Larchmont, or taking a job with the least amount of responsibility possible, whatever the detox entails) will presumably do wonders to take the edge of the last 48 months but if he's still in an angsty phase by the time he sits down to bang out his story, perhaps one of the following would work?