Bailout administrator steps down at Treasury as TARP nears its end

Herb Allison, the senior Treasury official overseeing the financial bailout, stepped down on Wednesday as the government winds down the rescue program.

Allison, an assistant Treasury secretary, said in a letter to colleagues that the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) "has proven remarkably successful" in stabilizing the financial system. 

The bailout began under the George W. Bush administration and continued under President Obama. 

Originally estimated to cost $700 billion, the program is now predicted by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office to cost less than one tenth that amount.

Banks have repaid hundreds of billions of dollars in capital invested in late 2008 and early 2009. The program remains controversial and deeply unpopular with voters, who have soured on Obama's handling of the economy.

Allison is the latest high-ranking financial and economic official to leave the Obama administration, following the departures of Peter Orszag, former head of the Office of Management and Budget, and Christina Romer, former head of the Council of Economic Advisers. 

The White House announced on Tuesday that Larry Summers, Obama's top economic adviser, will leave by the end of this year and return to teaching at Harvard University.

Tim Massad, currently a Treasury official, will take over Allison's role as head of the Office of Financial Stability.