The warrants give buyers the right to buy common stock at a fixed price. Treasury is using direct sales of the warrants to institutional investors because the holdings were judged too small to justify the cost of holding public auctions.
The 17 banks received approximately $1 billion in support from the Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2008 and 2009. All 17 have repaid the money and the warrants represent their last link to the TARP program.
Banks, other financial firms and U.S. carmakers received $413.4 billion from the taxpayer-funded bailout. So far, the government has recovered $317.6 billion. Of that amount, $9.1 billion has come through the sale of warrants.
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