Friday, May 15, 2009

Documents Confirm Treasury Bullied Banks

May 14, 2009 Posted by John at 12:09 PM | Powerline

It has been widely reported that Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Fed chief Ben Bernanke summoned the CEOs of America's nine largest financial institutions to a meeting on October 13, 2008, at which they were told that their banks would be required to accept TARP money and give the federal government an ownership interest in their institutions, whether they wanted to do so or not. We have it on good authority that some of the bankers, at least, were told that they would not be allowed to leave the room until they signed documents that were presented to them at that meeting.

These chilling reports have now been confirmed by Treasury documents that were obtained by Judicial Watch through a FOIA request. These were Paulson and Bernanke's "talking points" for the meeting.

click to see documents

The document is unambiguous: "We plan to announce the program tomorrow--and--that your nine firms will be the initial participants. ... This is a combined program (bank liability guarantee and capital purchase). Your firms need to agree to both. We don't believe it is tenable to opt out because doing so would leave you vulnerable and exposed. If a capital infusion is not appealing, you should be aware that your regulator will require it in any circumstance." So the regulators' independence had already been compromised.

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