Published: Oct 05, 2010 7:48 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 05, 2010 4:48 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Treasury Department says the $700 billion financial bailout will cost far less than previously thought.

A report on the program Tuesday says it will cost taxpayers about $50 billion. That's lower than the most recent estimate this summer by the Congressional Budget Office of $66 billion.

Tuesday's report comes after two years of criticism about the programs that rescued banks, automakers and other failing companies.

It says the programs achieved many of their goals despite being deeply unpopular. It says they prevented a deeper crisis and stabilized the financial system.

The law was passed at the peak of 2008's global credit crisis. Its official end was Sunday.