CBO: TARP will end up costing taxpayers $25 billion

“Clearly, it was not apparent when the TARP was created two years ago that the cost would turn out to be this low,” CBO said in its report.

With bailed-out firms returning to health, the government will spend less than previously thought on assistance to insurer AIG and automakers like General Motors, CBO said.

Additional stock repurchases by formerly troubled Wall Street firms and lower-than-expected participation in mortgage programs has also lowered the cost, CBO said.