Bank TARP Recipients - Charging Loan Shark Rates

You know those banks that you just bailed out with your money? Well, they are repaying the favor by charging Loan Sharking Rates, if you miss one payment on a credit card or even carry a high balance.

Millions of cardholders have recently received letters from the likes of Citibank, Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co. and American Express Co. notifying them that their interest rates are going up, in some cases to 30% if a single payment is missed.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., the nation's largest issuer of plastic, has begun charging hundreds of thousands of cardholders a $10 monthly fee for having carried large balances for more than a couple years.

Gee Thanks Citigroup! Glad we're all in this together. Isn't there a call to completely nationalize all of the banks, fire executives who got us into this mess and restructure them completely?

Dead Bank Walking - On the Brink of Insolvency

The New York Times is reporting Large Banks on the Edge of Insolvency

Indeed we on The Economic Populist went through many calls on alternative bail out plans and even a history of past crises, what worked and what did not.

Economist Roubini has been screaming from the hill tops on nationalizing the banks and now other economists are chiming in.

Video & Quotes from the Bank CEO Congressional Grill

Who does not enjoy a good barbeque? Today Congress had a very good roast. On the menu were TARP receipient CEOs.

Hopefully these words will turn into action and Congress will demand a better restructuring for the financial sector. I would prefer not blowing $2 trillion dollars ($3 trillion, $4? who's counting these days?) and simply nationalize the banks but hey, that's just me.

In the interim, I think we all can have some fun watching Congress roast these bank CEOs over the coals.

From reuters:

Taxpayers were screwed to the tune of $78 billion, much of it by the the firms represented here - Rep. Brad Sherman

Sherman - "Don't Insult Our Intelligence"

TARP Won't Work - Bank of America

Well, gee wiz Bank of America, could you have said this before you accepted $35 billion dollars of U.S. taxpayer money.

Bloomberg reports:

The U.S. Treasury’s bank-rescue plan won’t repair the financial system or revive credit markets, Bank of America Corp. strategist Richard Bernstein said as he recommended avoiding the industry’s shares

On the other hand, it appears Bank of America is pushing for more acquisitions...

ya know if it's too big to fail maybe it's a grand idea to not make it bigger.

Geithner's New TARP Plan - BARF

The Treasury Secretary has issued a new plan (small pdf) for TARP management.

Yglesias believes there is a window in this fact sheet for nationalization of the banks.

What is most amusing is Krugman is calling the plan a Rorschach test.

I heartily agree and wonder if a public relations, marketing master wrote up this plan for one can project what one wants to believe within the text.

But I have a funny feeling investors aren't too hip to projecting their beliefs into a nebulous bullet point page.

Want to Know What was Said in September to Get Congress to Approve TARP?

This is from a Daily Kos,
USA was 3 hrs away from Economic, Political Collapse in September 2008

In a CSPAN call-in Paul Kanjorski (D) (PA-11) described what Congress told in September, in answer to a desperate American questioning the insanity of the TARP.

I was there when the secretary and the chairman of the Federal Reserve came those days and talked to members of Congress about what was going on... Here's the facts. We don't even talk about these things.

On Thursday, at about 11 o'clock in the morning, the Federal Reserve noticed a tremendous drawdown of money market accounts in the United States to a tune of $550 billion being drawn out in a matter of an hour or two.

The Treasury opened up its window to help. They pumped $105 billion into the system and quickly realized that they could not stem the tide. We were having an electronic run on the banks.

Roubini and Taleb tell CNBC Geithner will fail

CNBC has a ten-minute interview with Nouriel Roubini and Nasem Taleb in which Taleb said Geithner is "that class of people who have failed, and they're going to fail again."

The entire interview is an interesting example of how insane media people are. They kept trying to get Roubini and Taleb to provide investment recommendations, to which Roubini and Taleb all but said "You stupid horses asses, the world economy is collapsing! There's no investment that's safe right now, and there won't be any safe investments until the whole rotten system is replaced!"

One of the CNBC idiots even said that since such horrible bears as Roubini and Taleb have achieved "rock star status" it's a sure sign that the bottom has been reached. Honest! (I wish I could make this crap up, and make a living writing best-selling novels.)

Treasury Secretary Geithner Overrules on TARP reforms

Aren't you glad this guy is in charge? I'm just shaking my head reading about the guy who blamed TurboTax first actions as Treasury Secretary.

According to the New York Times

The Obama administration’s new plan to bail out the nation’s banks was fashioned after a spirited internal debate that pitted the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, against some of the president’s top political hands.

In the end, Mr. Geithner largely prevailed in opposing tougher conditions on financial institutions that were sought by presidential aides, including David Axelrod, a senior adviser to the president, according to administration and Congressional officials.

Mr. Geithner, who will announce the broad outlines of the plan on Tuesday, successfully fought against more severe limits on executive pay for companies receiving government aid.

Measure Geithner's proposal tomorrow against this: Bury the dead

Tomorrow, Treasury Secretary Geithner is scheduled to unveil his proposals for dealing with the financial crises. I will be measuring the proposals against the solution outlined by Ian Walsh on Friday: How to Perform Triage on the Banks and Stop the Bleeding

Not only is the financial situation  getting worse, but a lot of securities either really have no market (they're hardly ever sold) or the market price is actually below their probable long term value.  If the government is going to take over banks, or insure the securities, or set up a bad bank, they need to know whether they're solvent and how risky the securities they hold are—how likely they are to go bad in the future.  Once they know that, they know how much to pay, which banks to take over and which banks can be saved.