Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hmm, Wells Fargo Didn't Pay Back Its TARP Money

The U.S. Treasury authorized 10 banks on Tuesday to repay TARP funds. Wells Fargo wasn't on the list

'We want to pay back the government's investment on behalf of the U.S. taxpayer at the earliest practical date, but we haven't applied yet,' spokeswoman Julia Tunis Bernard said in an email to Reuters. 'We will work closely with our regulators to determine the appropriate time to repay the TARP funds.'

In March, Richard Kovacevich, Wells Fargo's chairman called the stress tests 'asinine'. Could this be payback by the government for Kovacevich's attitude and also for Wells Fargo stepping in to take Wachovia away from the clutches of Citigroup, when the government was attempting to gift Wachovia to Citi?

As part of the results of the stress test, the government ordered Wells Fargo to build a $13.7 billion capital buffer, the largest other than Bank of America Corp's $33.9 billion


  1. Wenzel,

    I almost crashed my car driving to work today listening to radio headlines about how, even though a lot of the banks didn't ask for the bailout money, they "reasoned" that it was theirs to hold onto until they were ready to give it back, natch. A little case of "what's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine, too," it seems.

    Something I am beginning to get creeped out about concerning this entire TARP/bailout menace is... everyone is hypothesizing and trying to come up with a simple understanding of who is benefiting from which action, who is a victim, who is an aggressor, etc. and it just seems like we have it mostly wrong at this point.

    Do the banks need the money? Do they not? Do some need it and some don't? Are the banks being victimized by the gov, or is it all for show and they're colluding, or is it a mix again? It's very hard to tell, and I am beginning to become impatient with people who seem to be certain that a particular storyline is unfolding, as my impression is that on the contrary, "the plot thickens."

    I don't know if you follow what I'm after but, if you do, could you weigh in as far as what you think is going on? I'm especially curious about this "recovery," is this thing totally orchestrated somehow... are the banks and the gov going to keep engineering these mini-catastrophes as an excuse to take public money to shore up balance sheets without people balking, and for the higher-ups to cannibalize their competition (Bear Stearns, Lehman) without anyone crying foul, and one day we'll wake up and the crisis will be over and all the banks are safe and sound again, of course at the cost of trillions to you and me?

  2. Wells Fargo was also rumored to one of the few -- Goldman Sachs was another -- of the banks Geithner and Paulson strong-armed into taking the "investment" that tried to refuse the "offer". Happened on one of those fateful Sundays that Paulson so frequently used to foist some new boondoggle on America.

  3. Anon,

    Is it possible for Goldman to be both a victim and a benefactor from these tactics?

    Seems to be contradictory and therefore impossible.