US treasury secretary Tim Geithner has written to congressional leaders to announce that the Obama administration plans to extend its financial bailout programme Tarp (Troubled Asset Relief Programme), until late next year, saying it is needed to protect against new economic shocks and is "necessary to assist American families and stabilise financial markets". Tarp has helped rescue large Wall Street firms, automobile giants and others, angering many who say this same government has failed to help them with relief from home foreclosures and unemployment. Geithner projected that about $550 billion of the funds could be used and focused on new capital to small banks for credit to small business and to curb home foreclosures to stabilise the housing market and contribute to a successful economic recovery. Geithner also said the government may increase a programme aimed at encouraging lending to consumers and small businesses. For more, read the BBC and AP
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