TARP funds stuffed into biggest banks repaid – with interest

Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

JPMorgan Chase and nine other big banks said Wednesday have repaid the federal assistance money that they received in the fall during the height of the financial crisis.

JPMorgan said it had returned $25 billion, with interest, to the government — money that the bank’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, has said it never needed in the first place.

Like the others in this article, JPMorgan Chase was told by Bernanke and Bush they would not be listed as a secure banking source if they refused the money. Literally, it was reverse extortion – with our money.

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs said in separate announcements that they had each repaid their $10 billion in federal aid, joining a parade of financial institutions making their exit from the government rescue program.

By late Wednesday afternoon, all 10 banks allowed to exit the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program had said they had repaid the TARP money. Among them, American Express returned $3.39 billion, Bank of New York Mellon $3 billion, Capital One Financial $3.57 billion, State Street $2 billion and Northern Trust $1.58 billion.

Earlier in the day, BB&T and U.S. Bancorp said they had repaid $3.1 billion and $6.6 billion, respectively, in government bailout money.

These 10 banks were informed by regulators last week that they were considered financially stable enough to return the government’s money…

Dance, dance, dance!

You’ll witness a good-sized red herring from TV talking heads claiming that oversight of executive pay “forced” this. That’s a crock of Republican agitprop. Switch on your brain and do the math. The sum of all executive payouts is chump change compared to what was paid back – the amount banks were required to accept in the first place.

Taxpayers received dividends on their investment in these banks. In the case of JPMorgan, the total dividends amounted to about $795 million, JPMorgan said Wednesday. Goldman said it paid a one-time dividend of $425 million on its preferred stock.

TARP is useful to the banks really in trouble – and worth saving. The nation has had about one failure a week of small fish who tried to imitate the whale sharks and failed. But, Republican ideologues decided that the only way to provide useful assistance was to make it a mass giveaway.

Of course, it still didn’t get Dumbo elected.

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