Paulson says U.S. taxpayers at risk in bailout plan

WASHINGTON Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:35am EDT

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson speaks about the government's plan to attack financial market weakness by buying up risky loans at a news conference at the Treasury Department in Washington, September 19, 2008. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson speaks about the government's plan to attack financial market weakness by buying up risky loans at a news conference at the Treasury Department in Washington, September 19, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson acknowledged on Sunday an emergency rescue plan aimed at stabilizing a financial system in freefall will cost taxpayers money, but argued that costs will not be as high the $700 billion limit of the package.

"The taxpayer is at risk," he said on "Fox News Sunday" television program, but added, "It would be extraordinary circumstances, highly unlikely, that the cost will be anything like the amount you spend for the assets."

(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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