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Paulson unlikely to tap rest of bailout: report

AFP [1]
Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008

US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in an interview Monday he would likely leave the remainder of a 700 billion dollar finance sector bailout fund for the incoming administration of president-elect Barack Obama.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Paulson as saying he would probably not tap the remaining 410 billion dollars of the rescue fund to launch any substantial new programs.

“I’m going to do what we need to do to keep the system strong but I’m not going to be looking to start up new things unless they’re necessary, unless they make great sense,” Paulson told the newspaper.


“I want to preserve the firepower, the flexibility we have now and those that come after us will have.”

His preference to keep some money in reserve means many of the big decisions about how to use the fund, such as helping to stem a tide of foreclosures, will be delayed until Obama takes office on January 20.

Of the 700 billion dollars authorized by Congress last month to rescue the financial sector, 290 dollars has been disbursed.