Tuesday, March 03, 2009

TARP Ying and Yang

Interesting news day.

Twin Cities-based TCF['s... c]hief executive Bill Cooper, a long-time conservative activist, has petitioned to give back the $361 million in TARP money that the bank received in November. Cooper says the feds have changed the terms of the deal:

"I don't want to be part of the new regulatory regime that's growing up around TARP," Cooper said in an interview. "Congress is now talking about putting their oar in the water on just about everything we do. That puts us at a competitive disadvantage."

Bank of America says they will get out of TARP in three years or so. We think that Lewis' comment was right:

Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis now says that taking $20 billion from the federal government to support BoA's acquisition of Merrill Lynch was a "tactical mistake." Lewis says he expects BoA to repay the $45 billion it owes the government over the next two to three years.

Lewis should still "be retired" by his Board--which should follow suit as soon as possible.

HT: PowerLine

In Milwaukee, however,

The parent company of Brookfield's Ridgestone Bank is the latest Wisconsin financial institution to receive a cash infusion through the federal government's Capital Purchase Program, the bank announced Monday.

Ridgestone Financial Services Inc. said it sold $10.9 million in preferred shares of stock to the Treasury though the program, which is part of the Trouble Asset Relief Program intended to help strengthen the nation's banks and stabilize the economy.


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