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This testimony discusses our work on the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), under which the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) has the authority to purchase and insure up to $700 billion in troubled assets held by financial institutions through its Office of Financial Stability (OFS). As Congress may know, Treasury was granted this authority in response to the financial crisis that has threatened the stability of the U.S. banking system and the solvency of numerous financial institutions. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (the act) that authorized TARP on October 3, 2008, requires GAO to report at least every 60 days on the findings resulting from our oversight of the actions taken under the program. We are also responsible for auditing TARP's annual financial statements and for producing special reports on any issues that emerge from our oversight. To carry out these oversight responsibilities, we have assembled interdisciplinary teams with a wide range of technical skills, including financial market and public policy analysts, accountants, lawyers, and economists who represent combined resources from across GAO. This testimon is based primarily on our March 31, 2009 report that we are issuing today--the third under the act's mandate, which covers the actions taken as part of TARP through March 27, 2009, and follows up on the recommendations we made in our previous reports.

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