The Treasury Department has about $135 billion in TARP cash remaining to fight the financial crisis, Timothy Geithner said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday. The big question, of course, is whether or not that's enough to revive the financial system. Here's how Geithner handled the question when George Stephanopoulos posed it to him on air:
"Can you get through the rest of this year with the money you have?" [Stephanopoulos] asked Geithner.
"We have substantial resources and we're going to use them quickly, as quickly as we can, to make sure they're devoted to things that are going to get credit flowing again," Geithner said. "And we'll cross that bridge when we come to it in terms of whether we need additional resources. And of course if we come to that point, we'll go to the Congress and give them the strongest case possible and help them understand why this'll be cheaper over the long run to move aggressively."
If the remaining $135 billion proves insufficient--which is quite likely--the Obama administration had better hope that at least some of the recently-launched lending programs prove at least marginally successful. If not, Geithner will have a heck of a time getting his hands on more cash in the face of bailout fatigue and public resentment.