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Treasury seeks comment on troubled-asset program
WASHINGTON (10/15/08)—The U.S. Treasury Department Tuesday released a request for public comment on its insurance program for troubled assets, known as TARP. The program is required by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA), and its purpose is to restore liquidity and stability to the financial system, while minimizing any potential long term negative impact on taxpayers. A Treasury release noted that under the EESA, the Treasury secretary is charged with establishing a program to guarantee principal of, and interest on, troubled assets originated or issued prior to March 14, 2008. The program may take any form and may vary by asset class, but it must be voluntary and self-funding. The Secretary has the authority to set premiums to reflect the credit risk characteristics of the insured assets so as to ensure that taxpayers are fully protected. Treasury invited comment on how the program should be structured to minimize adverse selection, including how premiums should be calculated, what events should trigger insurance payout, what form that payout should take, and which institutions and assets should be eligible. The department also asked for public comment on technical considerations, including what legal, accounting, or regulatory issues would arise and what administrative challenges the program will create. Comments are due by Oct. 28. Use the resource links below to read the Treasury’s request for comment or to submit a comment.
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