Bailed out banks: Screw you
The ostensible purpose of the bank bailout was to enable banks to start lending again, but the banks are taking taxpayers' money and thumbing their noses at the politicians who gave it to them:
At the Palm Beach Ritz-Carlton last November, John C. Hope III, the chairman of Whitney National Bank in New Orleans, stood before a ballroom full of Wall Street analysts and explained how his bank intended to use its $300 million in federal bailout money.
“Make more loans?” Mr. Hope said. “We’re not going to change our business model or our credit policies to accommodate the needs of the public sector as they see it to have us make more loans.” [NYT]
What are bankers doing with out money instead of lending it to people and businesses to keep the economy going?
Most of the banks that received the money are far smaller than behemoths like Citigroup or Bank of America. A review of investor presentations and conference calls by executives of some two dozen banks around the country found that few cited lending as a priority. An overwhelming majority saw the bailout program as a no-strings-attached windfall that could be used to pay down debt, acquire other businesses or invest for the future. [NYT]
It's absolutely ridiculous that banks aren't required to make more loans as a condition of accepting bailout money.