TARP participation not voluntary?

posted at 11:36 am on June 4, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The Obama administration has used TARP participation by banks and other financial and private-sector companies to demand control over their business practices, noting that their voluntary acceptance of taxpayer funds allows the administration stakeholder rights.  But how voluntary was the decision by banks to take the money?  A new report from CNS and Judicial Watch shows that then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson told these institutions that if they didn’t accept it voluntarily, the government would force them to take it, and that wasn’t Obama’s call:

Last October, then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson ordered nine banks that the Treasury Department described as “healthy” financial institutions to surrender ownership interests to the government or else face regulatory action that would force them to surrender ownership interests to the government, according to an internal Treasury Department document.

Paulson’s extraordinary threat culminated in one of the most sweeping government intrusions into the free-enterprise system in the history of the United States.

Judicial Watch, a nonpartisan watchdog organization, used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain a copy of the internal Treasury Department “talking points” that were prepared for Paulson to use at his Oct. 13, 2008 meeting with the chief executive officers (CEOs) of the nine banks. …

Did the banks have a choice? Not according to Paulson’s talking points.

“We don’t believe it is tenable to opt out because doing so would leave you vulnerable and exposed,” Paulson told the bankers, according to his talking points. “If a capital infusion is not appealing, you should be aware that your regulator will require it in any circumstance.”

We should point out that this action occurred under the authority of the Bush administration, if the timeline doesn’t make that obvious.  The nine banks that got this Paulson ultimatum did not come to the government, hat in hand, seeking taxpayer money.  Paulson told them that they would take the money, and that the Bush administration would have regulators impose that condition on them by essentially misrepresenting their relative financial health.

But why?  In a precursor to the Obama administration’s own power grab, the Bush administration wanted to use the private sector to impose its own policies and pick its own winners.  The Obama administration has merely picked up the tool left by Paulson.

These are the financial institutions that got the ultimatum:

  • Citigroup
  • JP Morgan
  • Wells Fargo
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Bank of New York
  • Bank of America
  • State Street Bank

Some of these wanted to opt out of the TARP program earlier this year, notably Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan.  The Obama administration has thus far rebuffed those efforts, claiming that they’re not healthy enough to pay back the money.  If they weren’t sick enough to need it in the first place, why can’t they pay it back now?  Simple: the Obama administration likes this tool, and doesn’t want to surrender its leverage until they’re finished overhauling the American economic system to their liking.

Update: Actually, although CNS reported this last night, my friend John Hinderaker actually had this three weeks ago for Power Line.


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Didn’t we know this already?

myrenovations on June 4, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Is anyone really surprised?

GFW on June 4, 2009 at 11:39 AM

We knew this months ago.

lorien1973 on June 4, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Nothing new… Think the worst and the truth is worse.

Upstater85 on June 4, 2009 at 11:40 AM

This is now news.

angryed on June 4, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Henry Paulson is a very bad man. I’m allowed to say that, right?

Mr. D on June 4, 2009 at 11:42 AM

B.B. & T. didn’t want to take any money either and the government made it tough to give back.

Cindy Munford on June 4, 2009 at 11:43 AM

How is this even *remotely* legal?

Sarjex on June 4, 2009 at 11:45 AM

From October. I’ve been making this point for months. Geesh.

The opposition suggested that the government may have to continue to press banks to participate in the plan. The first $125 billion will be divided among nine of the largest U.S. banks, which were forced to accept the investment to help destigmatize the program in the eyes of other institutions.

One of these days, people will listen to me.

lorien1973 on June 4, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Henry Paulson is a very bad man. I’m allowed to say that, right?

Mr. D on June 4, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Only if he told them to also serve traditional Pakistani food.

WashJeff on June 4, 2009 at 11:47 AM

Old news. Wake me up when you find out who made the run on the banks on September 15th.

Knucklehead on June 4, 2009 at 11:48 AM

Simple: the Obama administration likes this tool, and doesn’t want to surrender its leverage until they’re finished overhauling the American economic system to their liking.

You assume that they will eventually surrender their leverage.

Joe Caps on June 4, 2009 at 11:48 AM

of all of w’s missteps, shifty hank HAS to be the worst …
:-(

Buckaroo on June 4, 2009 at 11:49 AM

What needs to happen is one of these banks get the backbone to take Obama to court and FORCE them to take back the money.

At the same time, run ads stating their position, that they don’t need or WANT to take taxpayer money, that they were forced into it.

And watch people change to that bank. Obama’s bailouts are not very popular, people are angry. If just one company would stand up, they’d be rewarded by the free market for doing so.

wildcat84 on June 4, 2009 at 11:49 AM

One of these days, people will listen to me.

lorien1973 on June 4, 2009 at 11:46 AM

We listen to you all the time, just usually on a different subject.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on June 4, 2009 at 11:49 AM

“Knucklehead on June 4, 2009 at 11:48 AM”

that would be g. soros …
:-(

Buckaroo on June 4, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Knucklehead on June 4, 2009 at 11:48 AM

No joke. The lack of curiosity there is very telling, if you ask me. From both sides of the aisle.

lorien1973 on June 4, 2009 at 11:50 AM

You assume that they will eventually surrender their leverage.

Joe Caps on June 4, 2009 at 11:48 AM

Let’s hope we don’t have to fight a bloody civil war to force Emperor Obamatine to give up the power he’s gained “in this crisis”.

If he voluntarily gives up power he’ll be the first tyrant in history to do so.

wildcat84 on June 4, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Only if he told them to also serve traditional Pakistani food.

WashJeff on June 4, 2009 at 11:47 AM

Did he wag his finger too?

BuckeyeSam on June 4, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Didn’t we know this already?

myrenovations on June 4, 2009 at 11:39 AM

We knew this months ago.

lorien1973 on June 4, 2009 at 11:40 AM

My understanding is that bankers had suggested that this happened but this is the first time that their claims have been substantiated with government documents.

Joe Caps on June 4, 2009 at 11:51 AM

How is this even *remotely* legal?

Sarjex on June 4, 2009 at 11:45 AM

It’s not. We might as well rip up the Constitution. Nobody is following it anymore.

Daggett on June 4, 2009 at 11:51 AM

No part of Socialism is EVER voluntary.

That’s the whole idea.

logis on June 4, 2009 at 11:53 AM

B.B. & T. didn’t want to take any money either and the government made it tough to give back.

Cindy Munford on June 4, 2009 at 11:43 AM

I know, BB&T is a great bank, very profitable. How ever the reason they are making it so difficult to pay back is the govt is charging these banks 5% interest on the money. The govt is so cash strapped they need them not to pay it back in order for that interest to accrue daily. I have mentioned this before on another thread.
Now my question is come the end of the fiscal year is the govt going to report that interest income and pay income tax on it? Just like if GM starts to make a profit and the govt owns the majority of it who is filing the income tax on that. I mean if the govt is going to be in the buisness of owning a car company and loaning money to banks and charging interest shouldn’t they be paying income tax on it?

milwife88 on June 4, 2009 at 11:55 AM

How is this even *remotely* legal?

Sarjex on June 4, 2009 at 11:45 AM

I believe the commerce clause is the federal government’s go-to justification for all their over-reaching most of the time.

Joe Caps on June 4, 2009 at 11:55 AM

Joe Caps on June 4, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Read the link.

Federal regulators said they did expect some banks to volunteer, though none stepped forward yesterday. But they added that they would not rely on volunteers. Treasury will set standards for deciding which banks can be helped, and the regulatory agencies will triage the banks they oversee: The institutions faring best and worst will not receive investments. The institutions in the middle, whose fortunes could be improved by putting a little more money in the bank, will be pushed to accept the money from the government.

Where have you people been since October?

Socialism isn’t voluntary.

lorien1973 on June 4, 2009 at 11:56 AM

What needs to happen is one of these banks get the backbone to take Obama to court and FORCE them to take back the money.

***

wildcat84 on June 4, 2009 at 11:49 AM

OT but speaking of backbone, I read something yesterday recounting how the treasurer of Indiana, on behalf of its state pension fund, is appealing its treatment as a bondholder in the Chrysler bankruptcy. Apparently, the matter is under consideration by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit–Sotomayor’s circuit.

Hmmmm.

BuckeyeSam on June 4, 2009 at 11:56 AM

How is this even *remotely* legal?

Sarjex on June 4, 2009 at 11:45 AM

It’s not.. it’s the Chicago way

gatorboy on June 4, 2009 at 11:57 AM

These banks need to grow a pair and sue the federal government, treasury, and the rest of these clowns

gatorboy on June 4, 2009 at 11:58 AM

One of these days, people will listen to me.

lorien1973 on June 4, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Sorry, what?

Snowed In on June 4, 2009 at 11:58 AM

Ed: This is such old news. Can’t you come up w/ something more original….holy smokes!!

Why aren’t you or Allah looking into whether or not BO’s famed “economic team” is really behind all these crazy socialist programs BO rolls out every week. I mean are we really to believe that Volker and Summers, et al are in agreement w/ shouldering historical debt on us all, hijacking private co’s, socialising our health care system, and instituting cap & trade?? C’mon I want to know why no one is asking about this. Those guys are supposed to be teachers of capitalism……have they lost their minds??

Tom66 on June 4, 2009 at 11:59 AM

How is this even *remotely* legal?

Sarjex on June 4, 2009 at 11:45 AM

It’s not. We might as well rip up the Constitution. Nobody is following it anymore.

Daggett on June 4, 2009 at 11:51 AM

USSA – how do we escape?

izoneguy on June 4, 2009 at 12:01 PM

As others have said, nothing new…

What IS NEW is the moving target that is the exit door. Most are finding that the PIMP isn’t wanting to lose control, so the criteria for giving TARP back keeps changing. Now that would be a better story for the press to cover.

Oh wait, since that’s under timeframe of The One, it’ll be buried as a “non-story”…

SkinnerVic on June 4, 2009 at 12:01 PM

How much of this TARP proposal was the idea of the Bush Administration and how much of it was Obama sympathizers spreading fear and panic?

Skandia Recluse on June 4, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Paulson’s extraordinary threat culminated in one of the most sweeping government intrusions into the free-enterprise system in the history of the United States.

To this day, I do not know why none of these 9 banks, if they were truly unwilling to participate in TARP, did not send in their legions of Wall Street lawyers to get an injunction against Paulson. Make the sucker come in and prove his authority under the Constitution.

The Bush-Paulson cramdown of the TARP was the most heavy handed, blatantly unconsitutional act by our federal government I have ever had the misfortune to witness.

In my view, it totally washes away whatever good Bush may have done in the preceding 8 years of his term. It was a terrible act and a terrible precedent for our country. Thanks for nothing, W.

james23 on June 4, 2009 at 12:06 PM

It’s not.. it’s the Chicago way

gatorboy on June 4, 2009 at 11:57 AM

The guy in charge when this first happened was from Crawford, TX, not Chicago.

a capella on June 4, 2009 at 12:07 PM

lorien1973 on June 4, 2009 at 11:56 AM

So the government has owned up to this prior to the release of this document?

I’ve known that some banks were forced into it, but I did not know the government had admitted they forced banks to take the cash.

Joe Caps on June 4, 2009 at 12:07 PM

Joe Caps on June 4, 2009 at 12:07 PM

Since the bill originally passed, if you looked, it was out there. They never hid it. Why do you think I keep harping on Ed/AP for their continued support of TARP? For fun?

My link says that “9 of the largest banks were forced to take” … count the banks in Ed’s list. Wow! 9 banks. Fancy that. Socialism isn’t optional.

It’s amazing that we can’t even get so-called conservatives to admit they were wrong on TARP.

lorien1973 on June 4, 2009 at 12:10 PM

This is not new news.

pullingmyhairout on June 4, 2009 at 12:11 PM

You Vill take our money, vether you vant it or not! Ve vill buy you and own you, and you vill obey!

Dyslexia in Government: TARP = TRAP.

Who in the banking community will have the stones to put a stop to this?

Steve Z on June 4, 2009 at 12:13 PM

I can say this with a straight face: This is Bush’s fault.

pullingmyhairout on June 4, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Bush’s worst mistake, in my eyes…

omnipotent on June 4, 2009 at 12:14 PM

How is this even *remotely* legal?

Because any federally chartered bank agrees to follow the reserve requirements the Fed sets. If the Fed decides to raise the reserve requirement, banks have to raise money or they can’t lend. The Fed can set different requirements depending on the size of the bank and the risk portfolio of the bank, which is how Paulson threatened the big banks.

Kenrod on June 4, 2009 at 12:16 PM

Key is that this document IS a SMOKING GUN. Before all was supposition…

This however, shows Conspiracy, blackmail, and misuse of Government power, by a non elected Official…

This was, simply, the Fed Res Board and Treasury Dept. taking control of the banking industry.

Romeo13 on June 4, 2009 at 12:17 PM

One caveat to my Bush’s Fault statement: now, the banks want to pay the TARP money back based on the terms set in October and Obama’s administration is changing the rules to make it harder to do so.

pullingmyhairout on June 4, 2009 at 12:17 PM

All your base bank are belong to US.

MarkABinVA on June 4, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Had Goldman and Morgan Stanley not become “Bank Holding Companies,” this wouldn’t have happened.

pullingmyhairout on June 4, 2009 at 12:18 PM

The Bush-Paulson cramdown of the TARP was the most heavy handed, blatantly unconsitutional act by our federal government I have ever had the misfortune to witness.

Well no james, the most recent 30 billion loan take-over of GM with no congressional approval was “blatantly unconsitutional”

In my view, it totally washes away whatever good Bush may have done in the preceding 8 years of his term. It was a terrible act and a terrible precedent for our country. Thanks for nothing, W. james23 on June 4, 2009 at 12:06 PM

Yeah, that terrible Bush sure allowed more 9/11′s and more Americans to perish on our soil. Buildings came crashing down all over the nation. That damn Bush even went out a liberated two nations living under tyanny and shoved al qaeda into caves. Thanks for nothing Booooosh!

Nice try moron…..

Rovin on June 4, 2009 at 12:21 PM

But, but, but BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH was a conservative. his evil policies are what caused this mess.

/rabid lefty

I thought it was a bad idea then, and I really don’t like it now.

todler on June 4, 2009 at 12:22 PM

Who cares who started the mess known as TARP? The key issue is whether Obama will stop it or continue it.

Hoover started many of the same failed programs that FDR continued, programs that prolonged the Great Depression.

Focus on the ill-advised policy inititives…

RedSoxNation on June 4, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Nice try moron…..

Rovin on June 4, 2009 at 12:21 PM
up yours, die hard Bushie socialist jerk

james23 on June 4, 2009 at 12:30 PM

We knew this already, but the left wing media are ignoring it purposely because it’s an illustration of zerobamas economic fascism and his desperate agenda to socialize this country.

It needs to be stopped, and the only way to stop it is to make a lot of noise about it. The left wing media won’t call the fascist in chief on it until the noise gets so loud it can no longer be ignored.

Spiritk9 on June 4, 2009 at 12:31 PM

A fascist policy under Bush, now compounded by our fascist Dear Leader.

rbj on June 4, 2009 at 12:34 PM

correction: tyanny = tyranny @ Rovin on June 4, 2009 at 12:21 PM

For the record, what Paulson did here and Bush allowed was wrong in my opinion. This does not mean that (as james contends) everything else Bush accomplished “washes” away eight years of defending this nation to the best of his ability and preventing another attack on our soil.

Rovin on June 4, 2009 at 12:36 PM

the Obama administration likes this tool, and doesn’t want to surrender its leverage until they’re finished overhauling the American economic system to their liking.

Expect the same thing with General Motors. Although, the UAW will want to keep the relationship because our tax dollars will be paying for their salary, healthcare, and retirement.

Kini on June 4, 2009 at 12:38 PM

For me, the big question is…why? I know it’s about power, but there’s a bigger picture to this.

Why would Bush , and Paulson do this? Are they in cahoots with Obama? I’m angry at all who were, and are involved in this!

capejasmine on June 4, 2009 at 12:40 PM

I knew when Paulson initially rolled out TARP, so I’ve been surprised that this wasn’t well understood.

Obama completely mucked it up, turning those receivers into demons and getting into the stupidity of executive comp.

Naturally, they want nothing to do with this plan. Their pull-out defeats the purpose, which was to pump money into the system.

AnninCA on June 4, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Paulson & Bush belong in jail next to Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Reid, and Barfy Franks. A MILITARY prison

bill30097 on June 4, 2009 at 12:46 PM

I’m having alot of trouble putting together the “big picture” here. I completely believe that there was manipulation going on, but the time line, motives and benefits for the TARP actions aren’t fitting into that convenient little box.

What did Bush gain by “forcing TARP”? He was on his way home to Texas and orchestrating a smooth transition for his successor. There’s just nothing in this for him visibly in the long term…. but maybe there is some part of the big picture I’m not seeing.

What have Bernake, Geithner, and Paulson gained? They seemed to have survived the transition to the new administration quite nicely and gained unlimited power in the process.

What has Obama gained? Unlimited villains to target, ownership of the majority of the US financial institutions and unlimited power. And he gets to point to his predecessor as the bad guy, and he’s regrettably just cleaning up the mess someone else caused. If he’s so outraged by the power he acquired through Bush, why hasn’t he signed “one more” executive order and divested himself of it. Instead, he routinely justifies holding onto that power and is vindictive to those seeking to escape his control.

To be honest…. I’ve pulled out my copy of Animal Farm but maybe I should be reading the Wizard of Oz again, because I know there is someone behind the curtain, I’m just not sure who it is.

2nd Ammendment Mother on June 4, 2009 at 12:58 PM

When you read knee-jerk partisan apologies for Bush and Paulson of the type authored by Blovin above, you realize that no matter what he does, the partisans on the other side will never blame or even regret Obama. They’re like the bushies in that respect.

He may be a socialist, but he’s my socialist. Right?

james23 on June 4, 2009 at 12:58 PM

USSA – how do we escape?

izoneguy on June 4, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Seccession is sounding better by the day.

MarkTheGreat on June 4, 2009 at 1:05 PM

For knucklehead, lorien, et.al.: Check out the response by one Bob Gilbert here, and tell me if his theory seems plausible. I am no economist, in fact I would fail any knowledge test beyond my household budget, so maybe one or more of you could tell me if his statement “hold water”?
Thanks.

TASS71 on June 4, 2009 at 1:07 PM

We knew this months ago.

lorien1973 on June 4, 2009 at 11:40 AM

.
And it needs to repeated, over and over again, until the people of this country wake up.

iurockhead on June 4, 2009 at 1:07 PM

It’s amazing that we can’t even get so-called conservatives to admit they were wrong on TARP.

lorien1973 on June 4, 2009 at 12:10 PM

This is why I am so pissed at my Corruptocrat, Eric Cantor of VA. He has not answered my question about his vote in any meaningful way.

riverrat10k on June 4, 2009 at 1:09 PM

Do any of you still doubt that Bush was a progressive?

SKYFOX on June 4, 2009 at 1:39 PM

james23 on June 4, 2009 at 12:58 PM

2000 to 2006:

Worst attack on our soil. 3000 souls perish. Two wars prosecuted. National taxes returned to the people. Consumer spending spurs the economy. Unemployment brought down to 4.5% (lowest in two decades) deficit actually begins to drop. (all socialist policies according to St. James)

2006 to Present:

Democrats take-over Congress and begin a spending spree that continues to this day with no end in sight. Pelosi and Obama (in two years & six months) spend six trillion dollars in unsecured debt, (four times the amount of the entire eight years of the Bush admin) and planning on adding another six trillion on national healthcare, free higher education, and energy policies. Plunges this nation in eternal debt that may never be recovered. ( Attn: St. james—THIS IS GOVERNMENT SOCIALISM )

And we must surely remind Americans that Paulson did a no no forcing banks to accept government money. But where is our financial moral compass now! The days of a pathetic attempt to blame Booooosh for all this madness is over james. And it’s far from knee-jerk in your inclusive comparison of what Bush did and what Obama is doing now. I was very critical of many of Bush’s fiscal policies for years and wrote about it. But what Obama is doing currently to this country will put our government in control of our daily lives more that any other President EVER even envisioned. Creating debt at the pace of a trillion dollars a year for the next ten years is unsustainable. We are headed toward socialist slavery under Obama’s “leadership”. And it’s naive to think these policies even come close to what Bush “may” have started. If you can’t/refuse to see the difference, well, you’re still a ……….(insert what ever noun fits)

Rovin on June 4, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Because the Fed owns the government and the government does as the Fed says. There’s no mystery.

True_King on June 4, 2009 at 2:02 PM

That the government should be faulted for overstepping it’s bounds is quite clear.

But what I want to know is …

Where are the brave capitalists who will say “NO!”

These institutions just rolled over … They didn’t say “NO!”

The AIG execs just rolled over and gave up their bonuses … They didn’t say “NO!”

The CEO of GM just rolled over and resigned … He didn’t say “NO!”

And it appears the Chrysler and GM bond holders just rolled over and gave up their money … They didn’t say “NO!”

**All it freaking takes here is some AMERICAN who values his FREEDOM, and say “NO!”

MAKE OBAMA TAKE THEM OUT BY FORCE.

But right now – with zero opposition – he looks more like problem solver than a usurper – which is what he really is.

Are there no CAPITALISTS who value FREEDOM? Are they so concerned for their millions that they’d sacrifice their liberty.

Because that is exactly what they are doing.

HondaV65 on June 4, 2009 at 2:29 PM

A new report from CNS and Judicial Watch shows that then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson told these institutions that if they didn’t accept it voluntarily, the government would force them to take it…

Denninger was pretty hot about that:

President Obama’s Treasury Department attempted to prevent the disclosure of these documents, refusing to respond to an FOIA request. Judicial watch sued.

On February 4th The Obama Administration claimed it had no documents related to the meeting, but was forced to recant and release them.

In other words, THE PRESIDENT LIED AND ATTEMPTED TO COVER UP THE FACTS.

The Obama Administration also redacted Geithner’s edits to some of the documents.

These documents show that the banks in question were literally forced to accept the interference of the government in the form of equity investment under the direct threat that their primary regulator (the OTS or OCC, as the case may be) would force them to do so if they refused. Both OTS and OCC are run by Treasury.

The outrage here is not just that these CEOs were forced (literally) to take the money. It is also that they were forced to, at the same time, accept whatever FUTURE restrictions on activity, including compensation, Treasury or Congress desired to impose.

In short the banks were forcibly nationalized without a prior finding of insolvency; this is blatantly unconstitutional as a “taking” without compensation.
[...]
We are no longer a nation of laws; this is a bigger scandal, by far, than Watergate and it is 100% bipartisan.

If we the people allow any of this to stand we can consider our nation’s founding document to be nothing more than toilet paper.

We need a special prosecutor, we need indictments and impeachments, and we need them now.

Do any of you still doubt that Bush was a progressive?

SKYFOX on June 4, 2009 at 1:39 PM

He didn’t start out that way — his was a “living, breathing” political philosophy.

Rae on June 4, 2009 at 2:31 PM

*Sigh*
The real reason W is Hoover II.

Count to 10 on June 4, 2009 at 2:32 PM

That secret meeting between Bernanke, Paulson, Congress, and Bush – could a person file a FOIA request on what transpired there? I think there is more to this story and it has everything to do with the run on the bank. I think Bush honestly believed that the choice was TARP and Obama as president, or the end of the USA.

Does Soros have enough money to be able to destroy America as he destroyed the Soviet bloc countries? Saudi Arabia? Something happened then that changed everything. Until then Bush and other Republicans were warning about the need for changes to the current system.

And it seemed like Obama was never concerned about the economy – then or now.

We do need to know what happened, but I don’t trust anybody in Washington to tell it to us straight.

justincase on June 4, 2009 at 2:36 PM

From October. I’ve been making this point for months. Geesh.

The opposition suggested that the government may have to continue to press banks to participate in the plan. The first $125 billion will be divided among nine of the largest U.S. banks, which were forced to accept the investment to help destigmatize the program in the eyes of other institutions.

One of these days, people will listen to me.

lorien1973 on June 4, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Close, but you don’t quite have it.

There was only one bank that really needed a capital infusion, and the others were forced to take it so the one bank would not get shorted and bled to death by investors and depositors for being the only one that needed government intervention.

This entire $700 billion exercise has been about saving Citigroup.

rockmom on June 4, 2009 at 2:45 PM

TARP participation not voluntary?

The root cause of ALL of this financial garbage started with Jimmy Carter’s “1977 Community Reinvestment Act,” (CRA) and has ballooned ever since. The congress that enacted this mess, still haven’t stepped back and made any fixes. They’re hell bent on continuing to cover their butts with this folly, and in the end, the American taxpayer will get stuck all over again.

VOTE ALL THE DEMS OUT…

byteshredder on June 4, 2009 at 2:45 PM

HondaV65, some of them went to court over it. They got ruled down. What’s left to do.

See, that’s the shape we’re in as a country. All it takes is crooked law enforcement/judiciary and the only power we have left is the ammo we keep with us at all times. Everything else – including fair elections – can be stolen with little effort and there is no legal means for us to do anything about it.

This entire nation needs to stand together for the rule of law, or else lawlessness will have its way over every one of us.

The AIG execs didn’t fight back any harder because they had busloads of ACORN folks circling their homes, their families.

It’s the law of the jungle, folks. The only way any of this is going to stop is when the rest of us unite and threaten something real. The tea parties carried no threat. We Constitutionalists are law-abiding people. We don’t riot like the ACORN folks would. Where is our bite? What do we have, short of rioting, that would MAKE these people listen?

justincase on June 4, 2009 at 2:45 PM

In days past we, the people, had the power to vote with our wallets. No longer. We’ve been boycotting the lying media for a long time. Just when the free market was about to be effective, in steps Congress and says that the big media companies are “too big to fail” – just like the banks and carmakers were.

I don’t think the Congress critters are at all worried about being reelected. I think they’ve seen that there are enough people in this nation who only listen to the lying media that there is no way it even matters what they do.

Without the Constitutional checks and balances, America is going to tip over and fall into the sea.

justincase on June 4, 2009 at 3:12 PM

When Liberals say, “Obama inherited this mess.” This is the only thing that holds water. We have to admit it and show them that the Bush/Poulson bank bailout idea was NOT a conservative idea. It was a liberal idea perpetrated by conservatives.

If we admit this and point it out to liberals then they will have to admit it. THEN we can turn around and say, now Obama and liberal congress are taking Bush’s bad idea and multiplying it by 100.

Admit! Admit! Admit!

shick on June 4, 2009 at 3:42 PM

It’s not just the DEMS! This problem includes our progressive republicans. They are all ignoring the constitution. We can’t complain about Obama or the dems in congress until we clean our own house out.

Or you can vote Constitution party.

shick on June 4, 2009 at 3:44 PM

really old news

This was reported the day after the meeting.

corona on June 4, 2009 at 3:53 PM

Bush pushing banks around.

Now, Obama knocks them on their a*s.

Peas in the same pod.

Palinista’s rallying cry:

“No More Bush III!!”

Sapwolf on June 4, 2009 at 5:01 PM

Seccession is sounding better by the day.

MarkTheGreat on June 4, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Yes it is.

However, we must move now while it can be done peacefully and we still have a certain amount of power left to pull it off.

If Obama and the Dems are allowed to move the country too far left and the size of the government gets past the point of no return, then you will see riots eventually over gasoline, food, and the plummeting standard of living, higher crime, more cases of extreme acts like the Tiller and Long killers, etc.

The time is now to begin the cry from the Tea Parties of:

“Constitutional Convention NOW!”

Sapwolf on June 4, 2009 at 5:08 PM

“Constitutional Convention NOW!”

Sapwolf on June 4, 2009 at 5:08 PM

Wait until the first new taxes are passed, or California is bailed out, etc.

It’s not time to actually go down the secessionist route just yet – the people aren’t outraged enough nor are they hopeless just yet – but they will get there soon thanks to the President of HOPE.

Personally, I favor a referendum in the States of TX, LA, MS, and AL first on whether a Constitutional Convention should be held by those states. If the referendum receives a plurality – then move to electing representatives to the Convention. They should not be currently sitting national office holders.

Other states can be added but we need three or four to kick off the process who have a reasonable chance of completing the job quickly.

Once people realize that their retirements, social security, medicare, etc – are up in smoke – they’ll leave the Union for sure. The only reason they put up with it now is because they have so much vested in the Union. But once they realize that it’s all gone (and it is) … they’ll make a switch for sure.

HondaV65 on June 4, 2009 at 6:04 PM

“Constitutional Convention NOW!”

Sapwolf on June 4, 2009 at 5:08 PM

Absolutely NOT! I fear we’d be left with no individual liberties at all.

Rae on June 4, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Wait until the first new taxes are passed

Those of us who read way too much see where things are leaning, and from reports of declining Tax Revenues, I believe that we’re all adjusting our financial affairs accordingly.

I believe it won’t be until next April 15 that the masses will figure out that they’ve been “had”. When suddenly the folks who were promised and some of the given a windfall find themselves trying to figure out how to cover the 2009 Tax Bill…. then the stink is going to hit the fan!

2nd Ammendment Mother on June 4, 2009 at 8:12 PM