Section 101(a) of the bill that authorized TARP provides as follows: (a) AUTHORITY.âThe Secretary is authorized to establish the Troubled Asset Relief Program (or ââTARPââ) to purchase, and to make and fund commitments to purchase, troubled assets from any financial institution, on such terms and conditions as are determined by the Secretary, and in accordance with this Act and the policies and procedures developed and published by the Secretary. "Financial Institution" is defined as: (5) FINANCIAL INSTITUTION.âThe term ââfinancial institutionââ means any institution, including, but not limited to, any bank, savings association, credit union, security broker or dealer, or insurance company, established and regulated under the laws of the United States or any State, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the United States Virgin Islands, and having significant operations in the United States, but excluding any central bank of, or institution owned by, a foreign government. Auto makers are not âfinancial institutionsâ! The Treasury is not legally permitted to use TARP funds for an automaker bailout. Donât be fooled by todayâs headlines. People will figure this out throughout the day.