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Highlights

This testimony discusses our first report on the newly created Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which gave the Department of Treasury the authority to purchase and insure up to $700 billion in troubled assets held by financial institutions through the Office of Financial Stability (OFS). Treasury was granted this authority in response to the recent financial crisis that has threatened the stability of the U.S. banking system and the solvency of numerous financial institutions. Among other things, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (the act) that authorized TARP on October 3, 2008, requires GAO to report at least every 60 days on findings resulting from our oversight of the status of actions taken under the program. This testimony is based on our December 2, 2008, report. This report is the first under the act's mandate and covers the actions taken as part of TARP through November 25, 2008.3 Our oversight work under the act is ongoing, and our next report will be issued by January 31, 2009.

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