Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner met with top government officials Friday to refine the administration's plan for overhauling the $700 billion bailout program and improve regulation of the financial system.
The administration is working on proposals for how it will use the last $350 billion from the rescue program. But the measures being considered could end up costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars beyond the original $700 billion.
Geithner previously said the administration is weighing the possibility of using a “bad bank” to buy up toxic assets that are weighing on the books of financial institutions.
However, some suggested Friday that the administration may be re-examining that idea because of the costs of such an approach.
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Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said the issue of how much more money to ask Congress to commit beyond the current $700 billion is a key item the administration is debating.
“Do you guarantee the bad assets or do you buy them? Do you guarantee all the bad assets or just the housing assets? There are a lot of unanswered questions,” Schumer said.
Geithner met throughout the day with senior Treasury Department officials and had a meeting with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair and John Dugan, the head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The OCC regulates the country's biggest banks.