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$68 Billion Returns to Bailout Kitty

The Treasury Department announced today that 10 banks have been approved to repay their TARP funds. We've added them to our list of banks that have dropped out of the bailout (they're the ones at the top of the list). The banks haven't actually paid back the money yet, but that should happen soon, as all have indicated that they'll be doing so. Counting those, 31 banks will have repaid a total of $70 billion.

The refunds provide more flexibility to the Treasury Department in how it uses bailout money. Whereas only about $67 billion remained uncommitted of the $700 billion TARP before the refunds, now about $135 billion remains.

Speaking this afternoon, President Barack Obama said the funds would be available to be spent ("to safeguard against continuing risks to financial stability") while at the same time trumpeting the idea that they are being saved: "as this money is returned, we'll see our national debt lessened by $68 billion - billions of dollars that this generation will not have to borrow and future generations will not have to repay."

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