WASHINGTON — Though the government has tried — and failed — twice to create a program to buy troubled assets from banking companies, there is a growing concern that without such a program, financial institutions remain vulnerable if the economic crisis worsens.

The Treasury Department is expected to announce today that a few firms have been allowed to repay Troubled Asset Relief Program funds, a sign of government confidence that the worst of the crisis may be over. Regulators have said they would scale back or put on hold a toxic asset plan, because bankers have appeared less willing to sell assets now that they have raised enough private capital to withstand additional losses.

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