Is the economy on the brink of recovery? It’s tough to tell, but there are some positive signs we are seeing. Take for example the bailout money paid to the banks. The Federal Reserve recently gave permission to ten of the financial institutions that received bailout money to pay it back. American Express was one of these companies. It recently repurchased the $3.39 billion in preferred shares it previously sold to the treasury. This repurchase, however, did not include the outstanding warrants still owned by the Treasury Department.
Over $68 billion in TARP funds is being paid back from the nation’s largest banks. However, there is much scrutiny over the motives behind the repayments. The bailout money came with restrictions on executive compensation and it’s well known fact that is one of the reasons these banks are so anxious to pay it back. This is especially obvious considering that these funds are not from internal sources, but rather money the banks raised from private investors across the globe.
What do you think? Should the banks have been allowed to pay back the bailout money so they could forgo the restrictions on executive pay?
Written June 2009