The cost of bailing out the savings and loan industry will reach nearly $500 billion, with 87% of the tab paid by taxpayers, according to a study released Friday by the General Accounting Office.

The GAO said the biggest chunk of the total - $209 billion - is interest owed on money appropriated for the cleanup, which includes $87.9 billion spent by the Resolution Trust Corp. and $64.7 billion spent by the defunct Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp.

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