Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thank Goodness for Congressional Democrats

You heard me. In the ongoing war between politicians' evil and their stupidity--that is, between their desire to control and their complete inability to get even that right--Congress slipped some language into the bill limiting executive pay at TARP-receiving banks that essentially made it easier for banks to pay back the money sooner. The Treasury wanted to hold onto those claims for, well, let's just say awhile. Congress did this in order to justify slapping onerous restrictions on how banks do business. I think they honestly convinced themselves that all the banks needed the money.

So, happily, our benevolent overlords at Treasury announced yesterday that ten banks would be allowed (did you catch that, "allowed") to repay the TARP money that most of them didn't want in the first place. Hallelujah. Naturally, BB&T, The Money Speech's favorite bank bar-none, was one of the ten. Kelly King, their new CEO had a good quote:
This is an important achievement for BB&T....Repaying the government's investment will give us greater flexibility to benefit significantly from future opportunities that will be available as we emerge from this recession. In addition, we will become even more focused on the business of serving our clients, rather than dealing with government distractions.

That's over-regulated businessman speak for "Get the fuck off my lawn, government." A BB&T spokesman had another good line: "I haven't seen anybody swinging from the chandeliers yet, but obviously this was the result we wanted." These quotes are getting more than proportional press time, and I think it's due to the fact that the other spineless bank executives won't call the government out. Regardless, I must say I feel much safer as a BB&T shareholder, safer in the knowledge that the bank will, more or less (it is a regulated institution, after all) be run with my financial interests at heart.

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