Skip to comments.Feeling Secure, Some Banks Want to Be Left Alone
Posted on 04/29/2009 6:38:52 AM PDT by marshmallow
As Washington pushes banks to mend their finances, the banks are pushing back.
Emboldened by newfound profits and eager to shake off federal control, a growing number of banks are resisting the Obama administrations proposals for fixing the financial system. Lenders that skirted disaster only months ago with the help of taxpayer dollars are now balking at government prescriptions.
Despite pressure from federal regulators, industry executives are taking issue with major elements of the presidents bank plan. Administration officials characterize each part of their three-pronged approach as crucial to bolstering banks and restarting the economy. But bankers are increasingly eager to extricate themselves from the governments grasp, and worry that Washington will impose new restrictions on their businesses if the governments already considerable role in the industry grows.
The pushback has been pretty hard, said Frederick Cannon, the chief equity strategist of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and a specialist in banking stocks. If we dont address these issues, that could have a negative effect on economic growth, which in turn makes the banks problems worse.
As the Obama administration marks its first 100 days, the banks resistance is complicating the governments effort to solve some of the thorniest problems of the financial crisis. Opposition is building on several fronts.
Citigroup, Bank of America and other big banks are disputing so-called stress tests being conducted by federal examiners to determine how these institutions would withstand a deep, prolonged recession. The banks contend they are in better shape than the early findings suggest, although it is likely several will need to raise capital.
A Treasury plan to purge banks of their troublesome assets a seemingly intractable problem has received a lukewarm response in banking circles. Several big banks have declared they have no intention of participating in the program.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
My guess is that they saw what happened to GM and Chrysler and said “No way in h*ll are we dealing with the government!”
As if they’ll have a choice.
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