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(Reuters) - The U.S. government is planning to sell billions of dollars of assets ranging from bank shares to troubled mortgage securities that were bought at the height of the financial crisis four years ago, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing investors and government officials.
The government in 2008 invested hundreds of billions of dollars to help stabilize the economy, moves that were praised by some and criticized by others as bailing out Wall Street at the expense of taxpayers, the article said. Some of the investments have appreciated in value while others have languished, it added.
In the coming months, the government is expected to sell or be repaid on securities with a face value of roughly $29 billion. The assets are likely to generate more than $10 billion for taxpayers, the Journal said.
Timothy Massad, Treasury's assistant secretary for financial stability, told the Wall Street Journal in an interview that the sales are "a continuation of a gradual process that we've been working on for some time."
He added that the Treasury is taking time to work with banks on outstanding aid. About $11 billion in aid to some 322 banks remains outstanding, according to the paper.
"We're looking to do this in a deliberate manner that helps maximize returns to taxpayers, and are going to be continuing the sales into next year," Massad told the newspaper.
Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore