Great News! Some Banks Want To Give TARP Money Back

I have no idea what is stopping them. but some bankers want to give the TARP money back:

There's a growing sense among some bankers that Troubled Asset Relief Program known as "TARP" has become toxic. As a result, they want to bail out of the bank bailout program. . . . [Some] bank executives complain the Treasury's program to stabilize banks during these turbulent times is actually weighing down their potential for growth.


. . . "Things have changed since TARP was announced. The rules have changed," said Michael McMullan, CEO of the Bank of Florida, who withdrew his application for TARP funds Thursday. "We're going to need to attract and retain key revenue drivers and great bankers. The more restrictions that we are placed under from the Government, the less value we can deliver to our shareholders in the long run," said McMullan. Iberiabank in Louisiana, California's Bank of Marin, and TCF Financial in Minnesota confirm to CNN Money that they are asking Treasury to take back their TARP funds.

Terrific! They should be able to write their checks today giving back the money. Oh wait a second, not every bank wants to give the money back now. Instead the "as soon as practicable" caveat is added:

Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500), Bank of New York/Mellon (BK, Fortune 500), Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500), JP Morgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) and Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) - all 'mega-banks' that the government forced to take bailout money - say they want to return taxpayer funds "as soon as practical [sic]."

How's that for a "stress test?" If you can give back the TARP money within, say, a month, you passed the "stress test." If you can't, you failed the "stress test." Hell, Goldman received $12B through the AIG backdoor bailout. They surely can return the TARP money right away. What's the problem?

Supposedly this:

But, [the banks] are well aware no one will be permitted to return funds before completion of regulatory "stress-tests" of the major banks to determine how they would withstand a severe recession.

"We want to return the TARP money as soon as possible. We feel more bullish about economic prospects broadly, but we recognize we can't repay the money without the approval of the regulators," said Goldman Sachs spokesman Lucas Van Praag.

(Emphasis supplied.) I want to know what "regulator" is saying "don't pay us back the money." And I want to know why he is saying that. CNN provides this rationale:

The "stress-tests" are supposed to be finished next month. But it's likely the Treasury will not permit bankers to return taxpayer money for many more months. . . . The main purpose of TARP is to stabilize the banking system, to prevent a run on any bank that appears to be in trouble. It has done that much. If Treasury starts taking money back from healthy banks while the economy is still in trouble the weaker banks may appear to be even weaker and the confidence that TARP brought may suddenly disappear.

The weaker banks need to go don't they? Isn't that what the stress tests are about? what better stress test than seeing if you can return the TARP money? Give the TARP money back now. If you are in such good shape, what's the problem? Oh by the way, if these banks are in such good shape, why in the hell do we need to take their "toxic assets" through the Geithner Plan, at the cost of a trillion dollars in taxpayer money?

Someone is BS-ing us here - either the banks who say "everything is fine" or Obama/Geithner, who tells us we need this trillion dollar giveaway to Wall Street. Or more likely, both.

Let's hope these "healthy" banks will blow up the Geithner Plan.

Speaking for me only

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    Great Idea (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Jlvngstn on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:17:27 AM EST
    For those who are challenged to pay their mortgage and credit card debts, I say that they call the banks and say that they will repay the loans when "practicable".  It is only fair, right?

    Funny extrapolation (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:19:41 AM EST
    if sad, since we know that we will allow these banks to foreclose on thousands of homeowners as the "practicable" thing to do before the bank execs ever would give up a piece of their pay or perks.

    Or their power to be considered FIRST (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:20:42 AM EST
    They don't like the conditions (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:23:16 AM EST
    that came with the money, so they'll promise to give it back when "practical". IOW, when the rules imposed are removed.

    It's a new day...complete with another new reason to question who's really behind this and what is the result they are truly going for.

    I'm starting to wonder if and when (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:42:30 AM EST
    we are going to get some newsie reports of banks further stalling the "stress testing" or having to participate in financial affairs according to the TARP guidelines.  We've already heard about "slow walking" the information that the test required because they were upset and angry...who knew that was an option?  The titans of finance claiming that pouting is a professional adult response to crisis?  I see this bullhonk about wanting to return the money but not having a way to do it as a ploy to stall the process more.  There is stalling taking place for reasons here?  Why?

    Preferred Shares (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Manuel on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:51:38 AM EST
    Are these part of the discussions?  As a tax payer, I don't want to sell those back to some of the banks now.  I would prefer to hold on a little longer and maybe make a profit.  Giving the money back now that it looks like they may survve but before their stock price recovers is another way to stick it to the taxpayers.

    Thats (none / 0) (#21)
    by SOS on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:53:57 AM EST
    too sensible for a nation determined to become the biggest banana republic of the western hemisphere.

    Taxes (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by lentinel on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:03:15 AM EST
    I have been working on my taxes. I hate this mind numbing activity, but have decided to go ahead with it once more.

    I am notifying the government that I fully intend to send in my payment as soon as practicable.

    Why send it at all? It's not like (5.00 / 5) (#34)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:16:34 AM EST
    it was a loan from the government - you worked for and earned it.

    Why not inform the government that it has failed your stress test, and as such, you are not inclined to give, without restrictions, additional money over and above what was withheld from your pay to what appears to be a failing institution that has not provided sufficient accountability for the use of the funds you have already given it?


    Am I the only one who thinks that (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:10:52 AM EST
    what this is really about is the big banks and Wall Street-types being confident that they've won the power struggle, and have the administration firmly in its grasp, so the sooner the restrictions can be lifted, the sooner they can go about applying all that investment-banker-brain-power to new and more rewarding ways to fill the coffers?  

    I'm sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for someone in the administration or in Congress to say - out loud and with volume above a whisper - that just because TARP money might be returned, the financial industry ought not to assume that that will end the scrutiny, nor will it end the plan - there is a plan, right? - to impose across-the-board regulations to short-circuit a repeat of what we have just been through.

    Stress tests?  I'm beginning to think that means, "you blinked - you failed," and it's looking more and more to me like it isn't the banks that have blinked.

    Since the government's hand is out (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by lilburro on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:25:47 AM EST
    they may just be returning the money, waiting to get better terms later.  We seem to be willing to indulge them no matter what.

    They are all well capitalized :) (none / 0) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:18:01 AM EST

    No doubt.

    It seems that everyone (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:24:27 AM EST
    in the smoke filled room here is playing poker :)

    But they're not smoking. (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:26:03 AM EST
    No.  Not smoking.

    Not to mention (none / 0) (#69)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 07:09:39 AM EST
    the guarantees

    I edited and added to this post (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:20:28 AM EST

    Don't worry you still have (none / 0) (#8)
    by SOS on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:24:07 AM EST
    whatever flimsy local safety nets that exist in your town or city to keep the ultra-poor and helpless from die-off.

    Reconsider (none / 0) (#10)
    by SOS on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:27:21 AM EST
    that in the 1930's the U.S.A. had plenty of mineral resources, lots of trained-and-regimented manpower, millions of productive family farms, factories that were practically new, and more than 90 percent left of the greatest petroleum reserve anywhere in the world and we still ended up with a great depression.

    Where's (none / 0) (#11)
    by SOS on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:32:00 AM EST
    Eric Holder's Justice Department? They secede from the federal government?

    Michael McMullan (none / 0) (#12)
    by lilburro on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:40:13 AM EST
    is whining about TARP restrictions...well, I was kind of hoping the banks would be more regulated, generally, in the future.  Giving back TARP money should not be an out from regulation..

    from CNN:

    Garrett and other bank executives complain the Treasury's program to stabilize banks during these turbulent times is actually weighing down their potential for growth.

    They're especially concerned the limits on executive compensation - imposed in February, four months after Treasury starting sending out checks - could make it difficult to hold on to star talent who may jump to financial institutions that are not receiving any Government assistance.

    Of course.  Garrett is worried about his pay.

    also, (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by lilburro on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:41:48 AM EST
    if you needed TARP funds a little while ago, how are you now doing so well that the reason you don't want them anymore is to handsomely reward all the execs that work for you?  That seems like a really dumb use of recently earned profit.  That star talent must be pretty frickin' incredible.

    They've been playing in the big casino (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:46:35 AM EST
    again :)  Their confidence has been freshened even as we have lopped off jobs like cancerous limbs.

    If it is their money (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:50:17 AM EST
    Let them use it as they want, subject to FDIC deposit insurance payments of course.

    The issue, for me at least, is federal money.


    Sure (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by lilburro on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:56:16 AM EST
    that's true, it just seems odd to me that at first you needed government money to plug the gap, and now you have so much money it's back to lavish bonuses.  

    I mean, are they at least going to pay interest on the TARP money?  We're gonna get something for this big favor we did for them, right?


    More and more, I really don't think (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:30:37 AM EST
    that the FDIC should be insuring depositors in banks like Citi because those deposits are subjected to far too much risk given the nature of their other financial services practices.

    But it isn't the average depositor (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:42:27 AM EST
    in banks like Citi who are - or were - playing fast and loose with the money, unless you believe that at this stage, anyone who still has funds on deposit doesn't there deserve to be protected by the FDIC.

    If the FDIC thinks the risk of failure is that great, it should move to do what it is supposed to do in that case: shut the bank down and begin the process of making the depositors whole up to the limits of coverage.


    Well, here's the rub with the likes (none / 0) (#59)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 11:26:48 AM EST
    of Citi - they are a "group" - a holding company.  The bank is one part of the "group" - and apparently because they are a hybrid, there is some question as to whether the FDIC actually has the power to do a traditional bank takeover.  There are a lot of problems with the FDIC's postition in this "modern" system that Summers et al created.

    The Federal Deopsit Insurance Corporation's orginal mandate was to insure depositors - not to cover stock speculation - or derrivitives etc.  

    I am not saying that the FDIC should pull the insurance tomorrow for depositors in these "too big to fail" financial institutions.  

    I am saying that the question of whether they should be insuring those deposits given the fact that the greater risks that the TBTF's are taking are threatening the depositor's holdings (they - we - are the ones who are insured - not the banks).  The question becomes how much risk should we tolerate and should "groups" be paying higher premiums since they are operating at a much greater risk level?  Or should they be covered at all by a program that was only ever designed for a siloed banking model?


    No (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 11:30:40 AM EST
    they can take over Citibank NA.

    Of course they could also take over the whole company by buying up the shares of Citibank.

    I think at current market prices, the entirety of Citi is worth 15 billion. give it a 100% takeover premium and it will cost 30 billion.

    But before we do that, we negotiate with Citi's creditors on what they will be paid.

    and then voila! Start some new lending.

    Not difficult at all.


    I didn't say that I "buy" the argument (none / 0) (#62)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 11:35:32 AM EST
    that they can't - just that they are saying that it is their argument.

    And I am just thinking about the role of the FDIC in this game because I think the way this is working in the realm of the too big to fail conglomerates is a little bit like me insuring my primary house and then making a claim on that policy when my second uninsured house burns down.


    So Roubini was on as a guest this (none / 0) (#70)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 08:57:56 AM EST
    morning on CNBC's Squawk Box and explained that the FDIC can take over the bank, but can't do anything with the bank holding company where the CDS's and other problems exist. His explaination was that the bank takeover would be no problem and likely fine and orderly, but that it would leave the rest of the company in a disorderly meltdown.  He said that the Obama Administration's request to expand their powers to deal with the rest of the company's assets is a good thing because these holding companies present a particular problem and the FDIC doesn't have authority to deal with anything but the traditional banking business.  Just thought I'd let you know in case you're interested.

    Such a move would certainly (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 12:42:27 PM EST
    get the depositors to take their money out and let citibank fall without taking the middle class working citizen's savings with it.

    Um, do you know what would happen (none / 0) (#43)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:34:07 AM EST
    if the FDIC withdrew the guarantee?

    Yep. (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 11:12:21 AM EST
    But my point is not that the FDIC should up and pull the insurance tomorrow.  It is that the FDIC is out of its league insuring depositors to an entity that has the ability to leverage itself outside the traditional banking line of business to the point where in essence - no matter how well the banking business is run - the deposits are always at a huge risk of being wiped out.  The FDIC wasn't created to cover that much risk.  The "modernization" of the financial system, didn't include an updated view of the FDIC's role it seems.  These conglomerate financial services groups were not asked to pay any more for the insurance even though they were putting that capital at considerably greater risk.  

    The FDIC is trying to get Congress to give them the power to borrow a considerable amount of money to cover potential defaults which suggests to me that the premiums are too low which would be no surprise given how the "modernization" legislation was crafted to favor the financial entities and their rosiest projections.  It seems to me that the FDIC's role with respect to the "too big to fail" financial institutions needs to be re-examined; or these financial institutions should have to go back to the old model where bank depositors were shielded from the extreme risks that we have discovered in this collapse.


    I don't think they can attempt something (none / 0) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:48:41 AM EST
    like that without taking the bank first and insuring the current depositors, otherwise there would be a run on Citibank.  Your post brings up an interesting question though......can we really FDIC insure investment banking?  I'm sure that at the end of this giant fiasco it will be a question asked and answered.

    The FDIC was never meant to (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 11:15:59 AM EST
    insure the speculators and that was my only point.  Citi was just an example of how their original mandate has been expanded - and expanded without any real changes to how the FDIC's risk in insuring the speculators (by default of course) might be better managed.

    Do you consider federal money (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:53:17 AM EST
    to be money that AIG had to pay them all for CDS? I don't think anybody else considers it federal money once it left AIGs hands to pay its debts.

    I do not (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 11:31:23 AM EST
    That is why I call it the AIg backdoor bailout.

    Pretty simple bud (none / 0) (#24)
    by dallas on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:58:06 AM EST
    Now putting those bigger banks aside that the gov forced to take the money you got the littler guys. So you ask why did they take TARP? Why not? If the gov opened it's wallet and said here is some low low interest money, who wouldn't take it? If you can borrow it for less from the gov that you can elsewhere you wouldn't be much of a business man to not to. Now you tack on to that that places to borrow money were drying up and you are going to jump all over any line of credit you can find especially if it is low low interest.

    The fact that these banks can afford to give it back just shows that they were covering their rears in case things got really worse. They didn't get worse. Things are on a upswing for now. Let's all hope they stay that way.


    So give it back now (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:00:41 AM EST
    We need the money for other things.

    According to the article bud (none / 0) (#35)
    by dallas on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:23:14 AM EST
    it says

    But, they're well aware no one will be permitted to return funds before completion of regulatory "stress-tests" of the major banks to determine how they would withstand a severe recession.

    So if they are not allowed to return it now then they can't give it back no matter how much they wanted to.

    Now as for the smaller banks, "as soon as practical" can mean a whole bunch of things that the article doesn't go into. I can't see a good reason for them to say what they are saying if they don't really mean it. Other than a bluff to get the gov off their backs it would make no sense for them to come out and say what they are saying.


    Yes, it seems like a bluff (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:28:56 AM EST
    to get the gov off their backs and out of their books, and who needs a stress test here when we want to give you the damn money back when it is "practicable"?  That word is really starting to grow on me.  The next time I don't want to do something or I want to stall something I'm going to try that one out on my husband.  He'll scratch his head and shrug, go out to his wood shop for about an hour, and then come in the house tell me to stuff my new word :)

    Read my post bud (none / 0) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:33:47 AM EST
    and you will see my response to this nonsense.

    With all the mj talk of late (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:43:29 AM EST
    when I'm reading bud today there is only one sort of bud that I keep picturing.

    Can they really afford to give it back though? (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:01:53 AM EST
    Where's the check in hand?  Talk is cheap and practicable means exactly what?

    Star talent is free to go where ever (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:45:18 AM EST
    else they'll have that really great job.  As Taibbi pointed out, half of Wall Street is unemployed at this moment....star talent bullhonk honking honking honk!

    What "star" talent? (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by SOS on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:52:06 AM EST
    Considering where "star" talent got us.

    We aren't talking free market here :) (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:54:29 AM EST
    Free market or (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by SOS on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:58:26 AM EST
    shuffling of worthless securities under TARPS and TARFS? Which are we?

    And star talent is talent that was (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:59:43 AM EST
    fortunate enough to be born under certain stars.

    Ah come on now (none / 0) (#30)
    by dallas on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:06:58 AM EST
    You can't blame every person that works for a bank.There are plenty of lower and middle and upper management people and even those who are not in management that are valuable to any company. If outsiders start telling you what you can pay people then you might lose them people. Better to just give back the money if you don't need it and run your own business. That's not so hard to understand.

    Not pertinent (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:11:27 AM EST
    Lower and middle and upper management people and even those who are not in management that are valuable to any company are not the Mind Numbing Bonused Star Talent here talking about how many billions they are worth while everyone else eats cake.

    a lot of the (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by CST on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:50:22 AM EST
    lower and middle people are the ones unemployed now.  Someone had to take the fall.

    Well I don't know about that (none / 0) (#47)
    by dallas on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:46:59 AM EST
    The man in the article said

    "Things have changed since TARP was announced. The rules have changed," said Michael McMullan, CEO of the Bank of Florida, who withdrew his application for TARP funds Thursday. "We're going to need to attract and retain key revenue drivers and great bankers."

    Ya see revenue drivers are what my granddaddy used to call rainmakers. People how went out and brought in the business. And great bankers can mean anyone who works in a bank.

    Now if you know anything about banks you know that a big percentage of the people even in your local branch are called a Vice President or an Executive this or that of some sort. So if the gov says anyone with those titles are subject to bonus restrictions and say those restrictions are a percentage or their base wages then it could really hurt hanging on to good people. A lot of companies now pay approximately half the wages of key people base on performance bonuses. And bonus formulas aimed at the millionaires could unknowingly affect the bonuses of non millionaires if it is done on a percentage basis.

    So I don't think at all that my post was not pertinent. The difference between what you are thinking and what I am thinking is that I am looking at the bigger picture and you are just looking at the top dogs. A lot of people here want to speak up for the little guy but they forget to include the little guy when considering certain things like I just did. if you understand that the gov could limit bonuses on a percentage basis and that those limits could affect what your title is then in banking that could affect a whole lot more people than you or the gov realize.


    Totally disagree with your post (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:58:33 AM EST
    I think I'm looking at the big picture and you are looking the "banking bubble picture".  I see the economy as a whole and it is already raining, it is pouring, it is going to hail.  This isn't the time for speculation banking.  Take a look at the last time this country was in this position and what speculation banking did to the country and to itself until banking itself came undone for 20 years!  This is the time to provide service to customers, but the banks don't want to go about making money in this old fashioned hard earned profits way.  All free lunches are over and rainmakers need to evolve into water carriers because that is where we are and it is already raining on everyone.

    And if this were really a free market (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 11:05:09 AM EST
    which needed a whole variety of stars to keep things on an even keel, these blankety blanks would be out of a job right now because they screwed up and they didn't have capital to cover the shots they made.  They completely lost site of the big picture.  Government funds bailing them out and intervening in the natural course of events is interfering with the market correction that would have taken out all of these slobs.....because we have to or they take all of us with them.

    Generally Compensation Regulations... (none / 0) (#54)
    by santarita on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 11:09:26 AM EST
    that are aimed at disclosure or limitation specify the top 5 (or some other pertinent number) compensated or specify functions like CEO, CFO, General Counsel etc.

    I think the compensation regs that Geithner has discussed have been more descriptive of the types of programs that are ok and not ok rather than focusing on $ amounts.

    The compensation schemes that are on the table are the schemes for executive and highly compensated individuals.  It will be interesting to see if there will be an international accord on this topic to prevent people from international forum shopping.


    maybe so (none / 0) (#63)
    by dallas on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 11:58:33 AM EST
    the devil is in the details and the details are not out yet. But if TARP money will cause banks to lose top executives that flee to unrestricted waters then it would inhibit those banks from growing out of the problems they have as fast as they could. And the longer it takes them the more TARP money the banks will need. So all this is kind of a two edged sword.

    Top Execs Could All .. (5.00 / 3) (#64)
    by santarita on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 12:11:34 PM EST
    leave and we'd probably be better off.  Maybe North Korea is looking for their special kind of talent.

    Flee to unrestricted waters? (none / 0) (#68)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 01:35:03 PM EST
    These Master of the Universe banks have lots and lots of subsidaries in unrestricted waters that we have no access to.  Which is another puzzling nasty thing we would all like to know more about and understand better.  As for stars fleeing to unrestricted waters, I don't think they flee there but they vacation there.  I fear no cry baby chicken little swords.  Our worst fears already exist, time to get real.

    It's the American Idol version (none / 0) (#31)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:09:54 AM EST
    of star talent.

    Maybe (none / 0) (#38)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:26:31 AM EST
    They are seeing what's happening to Rick Waggoner and thinking that with enough public outrage, they may be next.

    But they have been Obama's shining (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:31:05 AM EST
    beacons of all economic hope and future national prosperity. Why would that change over night?

    Somebody is hiding something (none / 0) (#44)
    by nellre on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:41:00 AM EST
    I think we need to find out what it is!

    Why a bank that is offering to repay TARP funds within a few months of receiving them even got funds is weird. To me that indicates a cash flow problem that just needed a bridge loan.

    I am not a conspiracy nut... but this entire credit crunch stinks of a set-up.

    The way the story goes is that (5.00 / 4) (#48)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:48:21 AM EST
    the government, by "forcing" a number of banks to take TARP funds, was attempting to hide, in plain sight, those banks which actually were in danger of going belly-up, and which, had they done so, would have been the first dominoes to fall in the collapse of the entire system.

    For some reason, the government wanted the public to perceive that it wasn't just a big bank here or a big bank there that was in danger of failing, but that the entire industry was in danger.

    Or they wanted to keep us guessing about which ones really were in trouble.

    Or something.


    Making it look worse than it is? (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by nellre on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 12:23:38 PM EST
    For government to advertise to the world that all our banks are in trouble to hide which banks are in trouble?
    How stupid can you get?
    I do not buy it.

    Don't want to take the medicine? (none / 0) (#53)
    by denise k on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 11:05:11 AM EST
    Then I guess you are not sick enough to need it.  These goons thought they were getting something for nothing -- and they were under Bush.  When they found out that they were going to have to pay for this bailout out of their own pockets, the price got too high.  That is RICH!  Or should I say THEY are RICH and want to stay that way.  

    The bankers to the taxpayers: "Let them eat cake."  

    I don't see much difference with today's... (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 11:23:35 AM EST
    ..problems and those perpetuated by another Bush (Neil) during the Silverado Savings and Loan sh*tpile of years ago.  It is still all about privatizing the profits and socializing the debt for the have's.  Same as it alway was...

    Companies on the Government Dole... (none / 0) (#56)
    by santarita on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 11:12:23 AM EST
    should feel very uncomfortable.  If the banks were not grumbling, then the taxpayers should be concerned.  It would mean that the government isn't tough enough (which I think (but don't know) may be the case).

    Why even (none / 0) (#67)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 01:11:20 PM EST
    give, or offer, or force them to take taxpayer money in the first place?