Treasury’s Bowler Leaving After Advising on Puerto Rico, TARP

Timothy Bowler, who led the U.S. Treasury’s wind-down of the financial-crisis bailout program before taking on Puerto Rico’s economic woes, is leaving the department in mid-June.

Bowler has been a counselor to Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew on Puerto Rico and housing-finance issues for the past year, according to a Treasury official who confirmed Bowler’s departure Tuesday. Bowler, 41, hasn’t said what he plans to do next. He joined the Treasury in 2011 after working at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Bowler, along with another Lew aide, Antonio Weiss, has been a key official working on Puerto Rico. The commonwealth’s debt has traded at distressed levels for almost two years on speculation the island and its agencies won’t be able to repay $72 billion of obligations on time and in full.

Before becoming an adviser to Lew, Bowler was acting assistant secretary in the Treasury’s Office of Financial Stability, managing the wind-down of the Troubled Asset Relief Program after Timothy Massad left to be chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Bowler wasn’t available for comment on Tuesday.

The TARP Capital Purchase Program has 30 banks remaining after encompassing more than 700 since 2008, according to a May 11 Treasury report. The only bank owing more than $20 million is San Juan, Puerto Rico-based First BanCorp, with $125 million outstanding.

Crisis Response

The rescue of companies including Citigroup Inc. and General Motors Co. was the linchpin of the government’s response to the financial crisis. The program has gradually shrunk in the past several years as the largest recipients of taxpayer money have repaid the funds.

The government has received $442 billion in repayments and other income from the TARP bailouts, $14 billion more than the $428 billion spent, according to Treasury data as of Monday. That calculation takes into account shares of bailed-out insurer American International Group Inc. that are held by the Treasury.

Bowler was a deputy assistant secretary in the department’s Office of Capital Markets before moving to the TARP wind-down job. He’s a graduate of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

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