WASHINGTON — Companies that were bailed out during the financial crisis still owe U.S. taxpayers nearly $133 billion. Treasury’s plans to recoup that money have been slowed by the volatile stock market and weakness among smaller banks.
Some of the money will never be recovered.
That’s the conclusion of the acting inspector general for the government’s financial bailout. Some bailout programs, like the effort to reduce home foreclosures, will last as late as 2017, the inspector general said. Those programs could cost an additional $50 billion or more.
Among the largest bailed-out companies, American International Group Inc. still owes taxpayers around $50 billion, General Motors Co. owes about $25 billion and Ally Financial Inc. about $12 billion.
The 371 banks that still owe money include Regions Financial Corp., which owes $3.5 billion; Zions Bancorporation, $1.4 billion; Synovus Financial Corp., $967.9 million; Popular Inc., $935 million; First Bancorp of San Juan, Puerto Rico, $400 million; and M&T Bank Corp., $381.5 million.
After the 2008 financial crisis, Congress authorized $700 billion for the bailout of financial companies and automakers, called the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. About $413 billion was lent. So far, the government has recovered about $318 billion, or about 77 percent of it.
Senate declines to block Obama debt request
WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Thursday stopped a Republican attempt to block President Barack Obama from using his authority to raise the government’s borrowing cap by $1.2 trillion.
The GOP move failed on a 52-44 vote that split mostly along party lines. The vote caps an unusual process set up by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to let lawmakers, mostly Republicans, vote against debt increases but not actually block them. Blocking them would provoke a first-ever, market-rattling default on U.S. obligations.
FedEx employee charged for bomb joke on Army base
SALT LAKE CITY — Prosecutors in Utah charged a FedEx driver with a threat of terrorism count over allegations he joked that a package he was delivering to a Utah Army base was likely a bomb.
Charges filed Wednesday in Salt Lake City show the deliveryman was dropping off a package on Sept. 20 addressed to an Army Corps of Engineers employee at Camp Williams.
Prosecutors say that when a woman asked him what it was, he replied that it was probably a bomb. Military police then evacuated 215 people from the building and the surrounding area.
The Deseret News identified the driver as 27-year-old Kevin Coleman.
Police say the man later told them his comment was a mistake.
He’s charged with a third-degree felony count of threat of terrorism.
Egypt bars Americans working for democracy groups from leaving
CAIRO — The son of a U.S. Cabinet official and other Americans working for a democracy rights group have been stopped from leaving Cairo as part of a criminal investigation into foreign funding of nongovernmental organizations operating in Egypt.
The move is certain to intensify a diplomatic rift between Cairo and Washington over American aid to human rights and democracy groups that are viewed with suspicion by Egypt’s military rulers. The U.S. government said it was outraged over recent police raids on the Egyptian offices of three American-backed organizations.
Sam LaHood, the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and several other members of the Washington-based International Republican Institute have been barred from leaving Egypt. The government has suggested that such groups are trying to destabilize the politically charged country as it transitions to democracy after last February’s overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.
The younger LaHood reportedly tried to fly out of Egypt last week. There were also reports that staffers for the National Democratic Institute, also based in Washington, have been barred from leaving the country.