"In a 1989 legislative response to financial troubles in the thrift industry, the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA, P.L. 101-73) was enacted: FIRREA's principal mission was to conduct a partially tax-payer funded program to address the troubles of the nation's many insolvent thrifts. To do so, it established a new entity, the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), whose mission was to address troubled thrifts by arranging their sale to other institutions or shuttering them and disposing of their assets. The RTC would eventually obtain $105 billion in funding but a major part of its principal funding came from an off-budget entity, the Resolution Funding Corporation (REFCORP). REFCORP was created by FIRREA as a public-private partnership, which acquired the funds that it would provide to the RTC through proceeds from its sale of U.S. Treasury bonds. During its years of operation, 1989 to 1995, the RTC was alternately criticized for dumping thrift assets and for taking too much time to dispose of them. It subsequently began selling block assets, it partnered with private entities in the joint ownership of some assets, and it issued securities backed by commercial mortgages. When shut down in 1995, the RTC had closed 747 insolvent thrifts and recovered about 85% of the value of the assets it had seized. Estimates vary but several observers cite direct and indirect governmental costs totaling about $150 billion for the undertaking."
CRS Report for Congress, RS22959
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