Hat tip: RobM

From Bloomberg News:

TARP Warrants Show Banks May Reap ‘Ruthless Bargain’ (Update2)
By Mark Pittman

May 22 (Bloomberg) — Banks negotiating to reclaim stock warrants they granted in return for Troubled Asset Relief Program money may shortchange taxpayers by almost $10 billion if Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s first sale sets the pace, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

While 17 financial institutions have repaid TARP funds, two have come to terms with the U.S. on the value of the rights to buy stock that taxpayers received for the risk of recapitalizing the industry. The first was Old National Bancorp in Evansville, Indiana, which gave the Treasury Department $1.2 million last week for warrants that may have been worth $5.81 million, according to the data.

If Geithner makes the same deal for all companies in the rescue program, lenders may walk away with 80 percent of the profits taxpayers might have claimed.

“For once we’d like to get a fair value when we come into contact with the banking system,” said Representative Brad Miller, a North Carolina Democrat and chairman of the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee of House Science and Technology Committee. “We don’t want a ruthless bargain.”

Under the Old National warrants formula, Bank of America Corp. would save $2.03 billion, followed by Wells Fargo & Co. at $1.48 billion and JPMorgan Chase & Co. at $1.46 billion. Morgan Stanley’s benefit would be $983 million, Citigroup Inc.’s would come in at $965 million and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. would have $693 million, according to the data compiled by Bloomberg.

‘Stronger Incentives’

For the 20 largest TARP recipients, the total savings would be $9.985 billion, the data show.

Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat and chairman of the Banking Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investment, said today in a letter to Geithner that warrants were part of the TARP so that taxpayers could be compensated for the risks they took investing in lenders.

“We need to ensure that the financial industry recovers and that banks can start lending again, but taxpayers must be fairly compensated as well,” Reed said.

Rest of article at link above.

We keep on telling you: Geithner is a CROOK. Of the highest order. And the President’s continued association with this CROOK ……
well, draw your own conclusions.


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