US Tarp boss says he will quit

Steve Dinneen
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HERB Allison, the former investment banker who was the US Treasury Department’s overseer for the bank bailout fund, told staff yesterday he was stepping down as the programme nears an official end.

Allison was assistant secretary for financial stability, which put him in charge of the $700bn (£446bn) Troubled Asset Relief Programme (Tarp) set up amid the 2008 financial crisis and due to expire in two weeks.

“With the Tarp programme entering a new phase and continuing to wind down, I have decided that now it is the right time for me to step down,” Allison said in an email to staff members that the Treasury made available.

He said he was returning to Connecticut after two years’ service in Washington to spend time with his wife, who had been unable to join him during that time. The chief counsel for the financial stability office, Tim Massad, will take over as acting secretary.

Though Tarp is officially ending on 3 October, after which it cannot make any new investments in financial institutions, its work in recouping the money that it did lend will continue for many more years.

Allison is one in a line of officials preparing to take their leave from Washington, many of them more senior, including Larry Summers, director of the White House’s national Economic Council; Council of Economic Advisers chair Christina Romer and White House budget chief Peter Orszag.