Journalism in the Public Interest

The Bailout: Initiatives and Programs

Through two separate bills, Congress authorized the Treasury Department to spend a virtually unlimited amount to rescue the financial system. Through the $700 billion big bank bailout and an unlimited amount reserved for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Treasury Department has been doling out the money via an alphabet soup of different programs.

Below is a breakdown of the money promised or committed through those programs and a plain language description for each.

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  • Our frequently updated database tracks every dollar. In the scorecard, we provide a summary generated from the latest numbers.

So far, $312 billion has been announced and/or distributed between 14 programs. To see how the money is split between all the 980 recipients, check out our master list.

Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008

(Saving Fannie and Freddie)

Unlimited $191.5B
committed so far

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, passed in July 2008, was a broad bill that launched a foreclosure relief program, overhauled regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,... More info...

Preferred Stock Investments

(Fannie and Freddie Bailout)



On Sep. 7, 2008, Fannie and Freddie were essentially nationalized: placed under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Under the terms of the rescue, the Treasury has invested... More info...

Emergency Economic Stabilization Act

(The TARP)

$475B $458.7B
committed so far

With the $700 billion authorized by Congress in October 2008 via the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, the Treasury Department has been doling out the money via an alphabet soup of... More info...

Capital Purchase Program

(The `Healthy Bank` Program)



Most banks received their money through this program. When the Treasury Department started the Capital Purchase Program in October 2008, Treasury officials insisted that it was not a bailout for... More info...

Its piece of the $475B pie

Automotive Industry Financing Program

(Loans to the Auto Industry)



In mid-December of 2008, the Bush administration stepped in to lend General Motors and Chrysler billions to prevent impending bankruptcy. Subsequently, the Obama administration kept the two companies afloat as... More info...

Systemically Significant Failing Institutions

(Money for AIG)



The sole 'systemically significant' institution to get money through this program is AIG. On four separate occasions, the government offered aid to AIG to keep it from collapsing, rising from... More info...

Targeted Investment Program

(More Money for Citi and BofA)



Both Citigroup and Bank of America received $25 billion under the Capital Purchase Program. In both cases, they received additional aid, but since CPP was notionally for 'healthy' banks, it... More info...

Making Home Affordable

(The Mortgage Loan Modification Plan)



The administration's plan to stem foreclosures provides incentive payments to mortgage servicers, investors and homeowners to promote mortgage loan modifications and other foreclosure alternatives (like short sales). The Treasury has... More info...

Public-Private Investment Program

(Public-Private Toxic Asset Purchases)



Addressing one of the roots of the financial crisis, the hard-to-value mortgages and asset-backed securities on banks' balance sheets, the program sought to jump-start the market for these assets. Under... More info...

Housing Finance Agency Innovation Fund

(Money for States Hit Hardest by Crisis)



This program was created to provide up to $7.6 billion to fund "innovative measures" to help families in the states that were hardest hit by the aftermath of the burst... More info...

Community Development Capital Initiative

(Cheap Loans for Community Development Banks)



The program was designed to provide cheap financing to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI): banks, thrifts or credit unions that operate in markets underserved by traditional financial institutions. The idea... More info...

Auto Supplier Support Program

(Financing for Auto Parts Suppliers)



With auto parts suppliers struggling as much as the auto companies themselves, this program, announced in March 2009, provided guarantees and financing for auto parts suppliers who might otherwise be... More info...

Small Business and Community Lending Initiative

(Program to Ease Small Biz Credit Market)



This "pilot program" involved the purchase of securities guaranteed by the Small Business Administration in order to "ensure that credit flows to entrepreneurs and small business owners." Purchases began in... More info...

FHA Refinance Program

(Refinancing Underwater Mortgages)



The program, announced in March of 2010, was aimed at helping homeowners who are underwater -- they owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth. The homeowner would... More info...

Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility

(Fed Program to Spur Lending)



The program, a collaboration between the Fed and the Treasury, was designed to provide up to $200 billion in Fed loans to owners of top-rated asset-backed securities. The idea was... More info...

Asset Guarantee Program

(Limiting Losses for Citi and BofA)



This was another form of bailout for Citigroup and Bank of America. As part of the agreement in late November, 2008 to help Citigroup, the Treasury agreed to backstop a... More info...

For our blog, resources and more, see our main bailout page.