GEITHNER: Let me just emphasize what's important to Mr. Barofsky and the other oversight panels and to the president and to the secretary of the treasury, is 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 risk of fraud as possible. And he has made a number of reforms we've adopted, a very helpful role in shaping these programs, and we are committed to do everything necessary to achieve that.
Now, the program itself -- we're in a much better position than I thought we were going to be, frankly, if you just look back four months ago, three months ago or six months ago. The financial system today is more stable. The cost of credit -- credit is more available. Cost of credit is down significantly. Broad concern about the collapse of the financial system has receded dramatically, and that is very, very, very important to the prospects of...
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's much more confidence today than we've seen the last I think even in a year, in the basic stability of the U.S. financial system, and that is a very, very important accomplishment. And we have done that -- when I was here four months ago, we had roughly $40 billion of authority left in the TARP. Today we have roughly $130 billion, in 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...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Paid back.
GEITHNER: ... 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 are getting -- we've already earned about $6 billion for the taxpayer on those investments, and you know, 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, as you just said, is that people need to understand that we will do what is necessary to make sure that viable businesses, families that have been very conservative (ph) 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 from the compensation restrictions. The House passed a bill on Friday to give shareholders more rights to vote on executive compensation, also the SEC more power. The Republicans in the House were very critical. Take a look.
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(UNKNOWN): This bill continues the Democrat majority's tendency to go to the default solution for every problem -- create a government bureaucracy to make decisions better left to private citizens.
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