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Resolution Trust Corporation

Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), in U.S. history, government-owned company formed in 1989 to liquidate the assets of insolvent savings and loan associations (S&Ls). Essentially a huge property-management company operated as an agent of the federal government, the RTC had as its primary mission the disposal (at maximum value) of office buildings, homes, loans, and other assets that were held by bankrupt thrifts in order to reduce taxpayer costs associated with the S&L bailout. Hundreds of S&Ls, which had taken advantage of lax regulations and invested in high-risk real estate and other imprudent assets, failed in the 1980s, and after the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation itself became insolvent and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation assumed its responsibilites, the RTC was created. By the time the RTC was dissolved in 1995, it had closed or reorganized 747 institutions and managed to sell off some $400 billion in assets. The eventual cost to the taxpayers was approximately $130 billion, well below original estimates.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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