Accounting for the Bailout

At the height of the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury had more than $2.8 trillion on the line as they scrambled to prevent a financial meltdown. The government's total exposure was an even higher $23.7 trillion—if the U.S. were forced to make good on all promises, including guaranteeing Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC), says the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The rescue efforts are now on track to turn a profit of about $24 billion, according to Treasury's Mar. 30 projections.

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