The Treasury Department has spent most of the first $350 billion allocated by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, passed just over one month ago:
Most of the spending â€” $250 billion â€” is going directly to banks. The banks get immediate cash; Treasury gets an ownership share of the bank. AIG got another $40 billion loan yesterday, on top of the $100 billion it’s already received.
That’s $290 billion in spending since Oct. 3, an impressive $86,064 per second.
And it leaves just $60 billion; most experts I’ve talked with say that money will be gone soon.
What does that mean for the department? Treasury can access another $350 billion, but secretary Henry Paulson has to explain to Congress why it’s necessary. So expect another round of hearings on Capitol Hill, beginning perhaps as early as next week.