THE MELTDOWN

Geithner: $135B Left of TARP Money

Unleashed to the Sunday shows for the first time since his disastrous rescue rollout weeks ago, the treasury secretary came out strong. Speaking with George Stephanopoulos on This Week, Geithner said the treasury still has $135 billion in TARP money available to help get the economy rolling again. News outlets had estimated that as little as $32 billion of the financial rescue plan remained unallocated, but Geithner—who has been experiencing a revival lately, along with the stock market—placed the number at roughly $135 billion. Geithner said he came up with the number by making a conservative estimate of how much money will be coming from banks that now say they are ready to weather the storm. Of course, the flipside of having so much more TARP money than previously thought is that another round of spending could be around the corner. "If we come to that point, we'll go to the Congress and give them the strongest case possible...why this'll be cheaper over the long run to move aggressively," Geithner said.