According to JP Morgan’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, the financial giant can immediately return TARP money to taxpayers , but his company is waiting on the government:
Dimon, calling money received through the Troubled Asset Relief Program “a scarlet letter” and “the TARP baby,” said on a conference call with reporters today that the New York- based bank is awaiting guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department. “We could pay it back tomorrow,” he said.
Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) wants to regulate salaries of workers from banks and financial institutions that received TARP money:
As you may already know, there will be nationwide protests on April 15th, Tax Day, to protest spending and tax hikes by the Obama Administration. These protests, referred to as Tea Parties, have taken place nearly every week since Friday, February 27th (yours truly attended the Atlanta Tea Party and was interviewed by Neil Cavuto on Fox News about the events) and have been gaining notoriety and slowly more people are attending. The protest here in Atlanta had around 300 people, not bad for a cold, rainy day.
George Will makes the case against the constitutionality of TARP:
Since the New Deal era, few laws have been invalidated on the ground that they improperly delegated legislative powers. And Chief Justice John Marshall did say that the “precise boundary” of the power to “make” or the power to “execute” the law “is a subject of delicate and difficult inquiry.” Still, surely sometimes the judiciary must adjudicate such boundary disputes.
Yesterday, the details of Geithner’s new plan to address the banks’ toxic assets was released. He also penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal and appeared on CNBC (not sure of other media appearances). The U.S. Treasury website has also released a wide array of information regarding the plan - this is a good place to start if you want to read some of it.
Today Treasury Secretary Geithner unveiled Washington’s latest creation, and well, it is nothing more than a repackaging of the TARP program proposed last September. We here at United Liberty agree with the WSJ Marketbeat when they say “The New Plan Is The Same As the Old”-
The newest plan to undo the legion of toxic junk sitting on the balance sheets of the major financial institutions is, well, the same old junky plan. First there was the M-LEC, a Citigroup-proffered, Paulson-pushed plan to junk all of the junk. It was followed by the TARP, the modified TARP, the completely changed TARP, the GARP (Geithner Asset Relief Program), and now this amalgam.
And it relies on the same formula as all of the other plans — somehow getting the nation’s big financial institutions to accept the idea of selling off all of the stuff they’re holding on their books at a value that doesn’t stink for them, but somehow also satisfies the private investors who would be expected to buy into this mess of junk.
So who gets left out in the cold? The taxpayer, natch. According to the Wall Street Journal’s report, mortgage-backed securities will be purchased through several investment funds, and the government will act as a co-investor, matching private investments on a dollar-for-dollar basis. For bad loans, the government could offer as much as 80% of the financing.
The House voted and passed (328 to 93) yesterday a 90% tax on bonuses funded through bailouts:
The House was to vote Thursday on a bill that would place a 90 percent federal tax on bonuses paid to employees with family incomes above $250,000. The targeted tax would hit bonus recipient at companies that have received at least $5 billion in government money.
“We figured that the local and state governments would take care of the other 10 percent,” said Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.
Rangel said the bill would apply to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac but exclude community banks and other smaller companies that have received less bailout money. The mortgage companies also have received extensive government aid.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich talks with CNN about how companies that received bailout dollars used them to invest in other countries.
Whom do you trust?
It’s an open question that I’ve been pondering for the past several weeks. The markets have been asking this question, as well — despite billions of additional borrowed money to bail out Citibank and protect AIG’s trading partners, we keep sliding to new lows as debt deflation continues.
Our Treasury Secretary, Turbo Tax Tim Geithner, sat in front of the Ways and Means Committee Tuesday to assure our representatives that his actions, and Obama’s budget proposal, are absolutely necessary to restore our economy. His favorite quote when confronted by pointed questions or painful anecdotes from our current crisis was, “That’s exactly why we need to…” [bail out AIG/increase the TARP/create the TALF/embrace a budget that forecasts a $1.75 trillion deficit].