The Treasury Department said Thursday it will auction off warrants it took in four major banking companies as part of the industry bailout. They probably will not be the last warrants to go on the auction block.

Under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Treasury took warrants in more than 280 companies that got federal aid. The warrants give the holder the right to buy common shares of the company at a fixed price for up to 10 years from their date of issuance. Once a bank repays Tarp, it has two weeks to decide whether to buy back its warrants directly or let the Treasury auction them off.

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