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US Treasury Sets Standards for Financial Rescues


The U.S. Treasury Department has outlined five factors it says it will use as guidelines to follow to save important financial institutions from bankruptcy on a case-by-case basis.

In guidelines released Friday for its Targeted Investment Program (TIP), the Treasury Department says the factors will include whether the "destabilization of a financial institution" could threaten the viability of creditors, and the extent to which an institution is "sufficiently important to the nation's financial and economic system."

The department also unveiled separate guidelines Friday for a new insurance program that provides government backing for a financial institution's potential losses from troubled assets. Treasury said the Asset Guarantee Program would be used sparingly for "systemically significant" institutions. .

The guidelines were delivered to Congress this week as required by law.

Treasury used the TIP in late November to purchase $20 billion in Citigroup stock and help guarantee billions in risky assets in an effort to contain a widening financial crisis.

As part of the deal, the department also agreed to absorb $5 billion of Citigroup losses with the remainder taken in by the bank, the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The Targeted Investment and Asset Guarantee programs were created as part of the $700 billionr financial bailout legislation (Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, or EESA) enacted in early October.

In a separate development, The Treasury Department on Friday finalized a $4 billion emergency loan to the troubled automaker Chrysler.

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