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What Europe can learn from TARP

Executives from the financial institutions who received TARP funds, from left, Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein, JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO and Chairman Jamie Dimon, The Bank of New York Mellon CEO Robert P. Kelly, Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis testify before the House Financial Services Committee.

Adriene Hill: Today is also the third anniversary of the Troubled Asset Relief Program -- or TARP -- here in the U.S. That's the program that helped shore up banks deemed too-big-to-fail.

Tim Massad heads TARP in his role as assistant secretary for financial stability at the U.S. Treasury Department. He joins us now from Washington. Good morning, Tim.

Tim Massad: Good morning.

Hill: What lessons are there from Europe today from the TARP system three years ago?

Massad: Well I think their problems are specific to their situation and they'll figure out the best way to solve them. But I think what we learned in the U.S. was that we needed to act quickly and with great force -- that's critical in a crisis. So we took a number of actions. It wasn't just TARP, it was the actions the FDIC took and the Federal Reserve took, and the combination of all those was critical to stopping the panic.

Hill: Now there are protesters today as you know in New York and now around the country frustrating by government support of financial institutions, among other things. What do you say to them?

Massad: Well, I would say first of all that it was unfair that we had to use tax dollars to prevent this crisis -- but it would have been more unfair not to act, and that's why we acted. And since then, we have put in place a number of reforms, though the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, so that we don't face this sort of situation again.

But fundamentally we still have a lot of work to do to get our economy growing and to restore jobs that we lost as a result of this crisis and the recession.

Hill: Tim Massad heads TARP in his role as assistant secretary for financial stability at the U.S. Treasury Department. Thanks so much.

Massad: Thank you.

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