Saturday, April 11, 2009

Borrowers and Lenders: The Fight

Suppose you lent someone some money. You would want it paid back- the sooner, the better, right? So if your creditor turned around and said they now had the money to pay you back much sooner than anticipated, you would be pleased. But that's not the way it works with Team Obama. Several banks have managed to adjust and survive. They want to return the money given them in TARP loans. You would think this was a sign of positive economic activity, but wait. Team Obama doesn't WANT the money back. In fact they so much don't want it back that they are imposing over the top surcharges if the banks return the money too soon.

One has to ask WHY? As a taxpayer, I want this money back in government coffers ASAP. So here's the catch, the TARP funds were never, ever about the money. They were about CONTROL. Team Obama wants to control the banking industry just as they are now nearly controlling the automotive industry. They want to say who gets the money, who doesn't and they want to know that they can impact through penalties, taxes and surcharges, the cost of doing business. This will affect the amount of money businesses can use, or the loans they can float. As we have already seen, the lack of ready access money has a dampering effect on economic growth. By putting what amounts to a VAT on loans-because banks will not absorb these added costs, they will tack them onto loans as fees-this effectively diminishes profit. That means less expansion, fewer jobs created and little room for research and development-both costly chunks of innovative manufacturing in the 21st century.

But don't take my word for it...Read this

"...President Obama emerged from a meeting with his senior economic advisers on Friday to say “what you’re starting to see is glimmers of hope across the economy.” But there were also signs of growing tensions between the White House and the nation’s banks over the next phase of the financial rescue.

Some of the healthier banks want to pay back their bailout loans to avoid executive pay and other restrictions that come with the money. But the banks are balking at the hefty premium they agreed to pay when they took the money.

Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, and two other executives of large banks raised the issue with Mr. Obama and the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, at a meeting two weeks ago.

“This is a source of considerable consternation,” said Camden R. Fine, who attended the White House meeting as president of the Independent Community Bankers, a trade group of 5,000 mostly smaller institutions, many of which are complaining about the repayment requirements.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration wants weaker banks to move more quickly to relieve their balance sheets of the toxic assets, the home loans and mortgage bonds that nobody wants to buy right now. But the banks are resisting because they would have to book big losses.

Finally, there is increasing anxiety in the industry that the administration could use the stress tests of the 19 biggest banks, due to be completed in the next three weeks, to insist on management changes, just as it did with General Motors when officials forced the resignation of its chief executive after examining that company’s books..."

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