Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Well, We're Not REALLY Drowning...

Some Banks, Citing Strings, Want to Return Aid -
As public outrage swells over the rapidly growing cost of bailing out financial institutions, the Obama administration and lawmakers are attaching more and more strings to rescue funds.

The conditions are necessary to prevent Wall Street executives from paying lavish bonuses and buying corporate jets, some experts say, but others say the conditions go beyond protecting taxpayers and border on social engineering.

Some bankers say the conditions have become so onerous that they want to return the bailout money. The list includes small banks like the TCF Financial Corporation of Wayzata, Minn., and Iberia Bank of Lafayette, La., as well as giants like Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo.

They say they plan to return the money as quickly as possible or as soon as regulators set up a process to accept the refunds. On Tuesday, Signature Bank of New York announced that because of new executive pay restrictions in the economic stimulus package, it notified the Treasury that it intended to return the $120 million it had received from the government only three months ago.

Now, I hate to say "I told you so," but....awww. who am I kidding, I love to say that:

Now wait just a doggone minute here. This is supposed to be an emergency measure, right? A vitally needed lifeline? Now, I'm no fancy financial genius, but it seems to me that a financial institution that can look at the lifeline and go, "Eh, no thanks, too many strings attached" is perhaps not bad off enough for our tax dollars to be used for life support.


To hear Paulson tell it, though, if we don't pass his three-page plan right freakin' now, the entire U.S. economy will collapse. If it hadn't passed by today, Paulson implied, Donald Trump will be selling apples on street corners on Monday, we'll be standing in line at soup kitchens with our tattered ragamuffin children by Wednesday, and by Hallowe'en we'll all be putting on our leather jackets and hockey masks and heading off into the desert to fight for survival a la "The Road Warrior."

Guess it's time for the Otter Defense again....

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