It has been more than two years since the federal government enacted the Troubled Asset Relief Program in an effort to save the U.S. financial services industry in order to restore order to a banking system many felt was unable to stand on its own.

More than 700 banks borrowed roughly $204.9 billion in funds from taxpayers after former U.S. President George W. Bush signed the program into law in 2008. The size of investments made through the TARP program varied from as big as Bank of America®’s $35 billion aid package to the $301,000 borrowed by the Freeport State Bank, based in Kansas.

While the U.S. decided to run its own assessment of the TARP program. Here’s what we discovered when playing with the numbers:

New York$80.2 billion
North Carolina$28.7 billion
California$27.7 billion
Pennsylvania$9.8 billion
Ohio$7.8 billion

At the other end of the spectrum, the states that borrowed the least from U.S. taxpayers were both Montana and Vermont—banks in those states borrowed absolutely nothing. Here’s the rest of the top five list:

New York$80.2 billionMontana, Vermont$0
North Carolina$28.7 billionAlaska$4.78 million
California$27.7 billionArizona$8.05 million
Pennsylvania$9.8 billionWyoming$8.1 million
Ohio$7.8 billion

The banks owing the most were Regions Financial Corporation, based in Alabama ($3.5 billion), Marshall & Illsley Corporation in Wisconsin ($1.72 billion), Zions Bancorporation in Utah ($1.4 billion), Synovus Financial Corporation, in Georgia  ($967.9 million) and Popular Inc. in Puerto Rico ($935 million). Here’s how it broke down by state:

StateAmountStateAmountStateOutstanding Amount
New York$80.2 billionMontana, Vermont$0Alabama$3.7 billion
North Carolina$28.7 billionAlaska$4.78 millionWisconsin$2.0 billion
California$27.7 billionArizona$8.05 millionIllinois$1.52 billion
Pennsylvania$9.8 billionWyoming$8.1 millionUtah$1.43 billion
Ohio$7.8 billionCalifornia$1.42 billion

New York also topped the list of states with banks that provided taxpayers with the largest amount of profits. Alone, New York banks were responsible for generating close to half of the total profits made in the TARP program, or, roughly $3.54 billion. California and Connecticut trailed far behind with $890.2 million and $715.2 million in profits.

StateAmountStateAmountStateOutstanding AmountBankAmount of Profit
New York$80.2 billionMontana, Vermont$0Alabama$3.7 billionGoldman Sachs$1.1 billion
North Carolina$28.7 billionAlaska$4.78 millionWisconsin$2.0 billionJP Morgan$950.3 million
California$27.7 billionArizona$8.05 millionIllinois$1.52 billionMorgan Stanley$950 million
Pennsylvania$9.8 billionWyoming$8.1 millionUtah$1.43 billionWells Fargo$849.0 million
Ohio$7.8 billionCalifornia$1.42 billionHartford Financial Services Group LLC$713.7 million

When it’s all said and done, U.S. banks have repaid just $179.4 billion of the investment and provided taxpayers with just over $7.5 billion in profits–or about 4% return on their investment. Government officials expect the TARP program to generate about $20 billion in profits over its lifetime, costs of the program are expected to reach $28 billion.

Whether or not these profits justified the investment is a question that will likely be debated for years and will depend primarily on how one defines a good investment, though the Dodd-Frank act essentially made a big bank bailouts a thing of the past. In the end, the true value of the entire TARP program for Americans could be in the 8.5 million jobs it helped save.

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  • Phillip Edgar

    what is your source for this information?

    • Thanks for your question, Phillip. Up-to-date Information from the TARP program is available on the U.S. Treasury’s website. After finding it we crunched the numbers, which wasn’t easy. I hope that helps!