reasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is “sensibly laying out pretty strict criteria” for when banks can pay back their TARP bailout money, said Felix Salmon in Reuters. That’s good: It isn’t enough that an individual bank is healthy, when the broader financial system and credit flow are not. But the TARP legislation is “pretty unambiguous” that Geithner can’t stop banks from paying the Treasury back, so this will be a test of Geithner’s power.
You’d think Geithner would welcome some money flowing back into the TARP coffers, said Dwight Cass in BreakingViews.com (via Fortune), and the markets would certainly cheer banks able to survive on private capital. Besides, who can blame “relatively strong” banks such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan for wanting to “shuck off” the TARP “scarlet letter”?
The problem is that those banks are mostly strong on paper, said Andrew Ross Sorkin in The New York Times. In reality, each bank is busy pulling an accounting “bunny out of the hat” to wow investors with better-than-expected—and better-than-merited—earnings. So far, investors aren’t buying the “amateur hour” magic.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why are so many elderly Asians killing themselves?
- Why ABC threw its Bachelor under the bus
- Why I'm sick and tired of seeing naked women on HBO
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why Ted Cruz is the real-life Frank Underwood
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
- Here's how Iran is covering Russia's invasion of Crimea
- Watch Zach Galifianakis get annoyed at President Obama on Between Two Ferns
- Driverless cars may be an environmental disaster
- 4 easy ways to resolve life's toughest questions
Subscribe to the Week