Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Gary Birkenbeuel

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This thesis is a study of the Troubled Asset Relief Plan, referred to as TARP, and its effectiveness, proper allocation of resources, and governance in response to the 2008 U.S. Recession. By examining the eight largest banking institutions that effectively provided the largest net gain of funds to the government and comparing those to the eight largest banking institutions with shares still listed on the market as of 2018 that provided the largest net loss of funds to the government, we attempt to draw conclusions upon the effectiveness and decision making of the TARP plan and how to best address future economic recessions. By comparing share price change and return that the government received over 10 years, from FY 2009 to FY 2018, of both the most profitable and least profitable banks back to the taxpayer, it is shown that the market reacts accordingly to these funds being allocated to select institutions and favors companies that can effectively return resources lent by the government and then some. The share prices for those banks that returned more than expected to the government universally outperformed both the financial sector and S&P 500 over the ten-year period following the subsidy of TARP funds. This pairing of both share price rise and successful return on investment to the taxpayer of the United States Federal Government during the turmoil following the stock market crash point towards not only the success of the TARP program but that its resources should have been allocated even stronger towards large banks.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.