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Geithner on TARP, economy

In an interview with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, NBC's Chuck Todd asked whether it is more important for banks to repay government TARP funds or extend that money in the form of small-business capital.

CHUCK TODD: If they're not doing the lending that you want them to do, which is the big complaint about small businesses, wouldn't you rather them have TARP money?

TIM GEITHNER: No. It's a very important point. We're not going to leave them with too little capital. We're not going to take their money back at the expense of leaving them with too little capital so what we've asked them to raise more money from private markets to replace the taxpayers' investment.

Because it's much better for them to have the private - better for country for government to be out of there as quickly as possible so that's what we've been able to achieve. And we estimated now that by the end of the year we might have as much as 175 billion dollars of money back from the banking system. That's going to come back with interest. You're seeing very, very substantial progress towards that.

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