Geithner Extends TARP, Just In Case Says US must be ready in case of new financial shocks By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Dec 9, 2009 11:42 AM CST 13 comments Comments Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner testifies on Capitol Hill, Dec. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) (Newser) – The Obama administration is keeping the TARP around for a rainy day, Tim Geithner told Congress in a letter today—the program will be extended through October. Though the Treasury is done bailing out big banks for now, Geithner said it needed to be prepared in case of new financial threats, Bloomberg reports. The TARP was originally set to end on Dec. 31. Geithner called the program that lent to banks in exchange for secured shares “effectively closed,” but that it was “imperative that we maintain this capacity to respond if financial conditions worsen.” Yesterday Obama said that he’d ordered Geithner to use the remaining funds to help small businesses. So far the Treasury has deployed $471.5 billion of the funds, and Geithner says he does not anticipate that number rising above $550 billion.