Treasury official: No such thing as ‘too big to fail’

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WASHINGTON — There is no U.S. government guarantee to protect the largest financial firms, a Treasury Department official said Thursday, as a congressional watchdog criticized the $45 billion in government aid provided to Citigroup Inc.

Herbert Allison, who oversees the Treasury’s $700 billion financial rescue plan, disagreed with members of a congressional oversight panel that some financial firms benefit from the assumption that the government would step in to prevent their failure.

“There is no too big to fail guarantee on the part of the U.S. government,” Mr. Allison said.

Elizabeth Warren, who chairs the five-member Congressional Oversight Panel, said it was clear that financial markets do assume the guarantee exists, pointing to a recent ratings agency report that specifically noted the government’s role in backing Citigroup.

Full story: Treasury Official: ‘No Too Big to Fail Guarantee’ – via