US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Monday said he would use a combination of private and public funds to remove up to $1 trillion in toxic mortgage assets off the balance sheets of US banks, in the government's latest bid to end the financial crisis.
The new effort will include up to $100 billion in government funds, Geithner said as he unveiled the much-anticipated details of a new programme that has been developed over the last month.
Geithner rejected calls from some on Wall Street for the government to take on a larger share of the mortgage-based assets, which have already cost banks more than $1 trillion and are considered to be at the heart of the financial crisis.
Geithner said the new plan would force private investors to take on some of the risk in getting the system back to health, rather than putting the entire burden on US taxpayers.
"In a financial crisis, people always want the government to take more risk," Geithner told reporters at the Treasury in Washington. "We're trying to find a balance that's better for the taxpayer."