What was the banking bailout all about?
Just look at the acronym–TARP(Troubled Asset Relief Program). Did Paulson and Team Bush simply throw a tarp over their real intentions, covering up a final round of profiteering before riding into their own version of a sunset?
The NY Times ran an interesting piece in last Sunday’s paper:
"Bailout Is a Windfall to Banks, if Not to Borrowers"
One thing jumps out of the middle of the piece:
Most of the banks that received the money are far smaller than behemoths like Citigroup or Bank of America. A review of investor presentations and conference calls by executives of some two dozen banks around the country found that few cited lending as a priority. An overwhelming majority saw the bailout program as a no-strings-attached windfall that could be used to pay down debt, acquire other businesses or invest for the future.
Speaking at the FBR Capital Markets conference in New York in December, Walter M. Pressey, president of Boston Private Wealth Management, a healthy bank with a mostly affluent clientele, said there were no immediate plans to do much with the $154 million it received from the Treasury.
“With that capital in hand, not only do we feel comfortable that we can ride out the recession,” he said, “but we also feel that we’ll be in a position to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves once this recession is sorted out.”