| GEO Business|
| U.S. to extend bailout program to October 2010|
| Updated at: 1121 PST, Friday, December 11, 2009|
WASHINGTON: The U.S. government will extend the financial bailout program until October 2010, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said.
Geithner said in a letter to Congress that the extension was "necessary to assist American families and stabilize financial markets."
The 700-billion-dollar bailout package, known as Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was launched in October 2008 when the financial market was on the edge of collapse.
Geithner said that banks that received support from the program will soon have repaid nearly half of the funds they received. TARP will cost taxpayers at least 200 billion dollars less than was projected in the August Mid-Session Review of the president's budget.