Transcript: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

GEITHNER: Let me just emphasize what's important so that to Mr. Barvosky and to the other oversight panels and to the President and to the Secretary of the Treasury. We want to make sure we have the highest level of transparency on these programs. And we are doing everything we need to make sure that they are delivering the benefits they need with as little as risk of fraud as possible. And he has made a number of reforms we've adopted, very helpful role in shaping these programs and we are committed to do everything necessary to achieve that.

Now that program itself, we're in a much better position than I thought we would be. Frankly if you just look back, 4 months ago, 3 months ago, or 6 months ago. The financial system today is more stable, the cost of credit is more available, the cost of credit is down significantly. Broad concern about collapse of the financial system is receded dramatically. And that is very, very important to the prospects of recovery.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We're not going to see a collapse, are we?

GEITHNER: No not at all. That's not going to happen. It's absolutely preventable and again there is much more confidence today than we've seen in the last, I think, even in a year, in the basic stability of the us financial system and that is a very, very important accomplishment. And we have done that, I was here 3 or 4 months ago, we had roughly $40 billon left in authority in TARP. Today we have roughly $130 and partly because we have been very successful in having private capital come back into this financial system and we've had more than $70 billion come back into the government and that money goes directly to reduce our debt.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How much more are you expecting to be paid back?

GEITHNER: Can't tell, but substantial additional sums will come back and we- we're getting, we've already earned about $6 billion for the tax payer on those investments. And you now this program is delivering very important improvements in availability of credit which is the ultimate test.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So it's going in the right direction, it's going up. Can you say now with certainty that you're not going to have to come back to the congress for more money?

GEITHNER: We do not plan to ask for more money and I think it's quite unlikely that we do. But the important thing, George, is what you just said. People need to understand that we will do what is necessary to make sure that viable businesses, families that have been very conservative and prudent have access to credit at reasonable terms. That's the basic purpose of these programs and we're going to do what's necessary to achieve that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The issue of executive compensation for those banks, a lot of them are trying to get out from under the TARP restriction because they want to get out of the compensation restrictions. The House passed a bill on Friday to give share holders more rights uh to vote on executive compensation. Also the SCC more power. Republicans in the House were very critical.

REP. SPENCER BACHUS: "This bill continues the democratic majority tendency to go to the default solution for every problem – create a government bureaucracy to make decisions better left to private citizens."

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is the government getting to involved?

GEITHNER: Absolutely not, and I think that really everybody understands that we cannot have our financial system go back to the practices that brought this economy to the brink of collapse.

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