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Mon Mar 5, 2012, 05:40 AM

Reckless: The Inside Story of How the Banks Beat Washington (Again)

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/03/reckless-the-inside-story-of-how-the-banks-beat-washington-again/253883/?google_editors_picks=true

In early November 2010, as the Federal Reserve began to weigh whether the nation's biggest financial firms were healthy enough to return money to their shareholders, a top regulator bluntly warned: Don't let them.

"We remain concerned over their ability to withstand stress in an uncertain economic environment," wrote Sheila Bair, the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., in a previously unreported letter obtained by ProPublica.

The letter came as the Fed was launching a "stress test" to decide whether the biggest U.S. financial firms could pay out dividends and buy back their shares instead of putting aside that money as capital. It was one of the central bank's most critical oversight decisions in the wake of the financial crisis.

"We strongly encourage" that the Fed "delay any dividends or compensation increases until they can show" that their earnings are strong and their assets sound, she wrote. Given the continued uncertainty in the markets, "we do not believe it is the right time to allow transactions that will weaken their capital and liquidity positions."

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Reply Reckless: The Inside Story of How the Banks Beat Washington (Again) (Original post)
steve2470 Mar 2012 OP
Owlet Mar 2012 #1
xchrom Mar 2012 #2

Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2012, 06:41 AM

1. No surprises here

The current Fed sees its mission very clearly: protect the banks and the stock market at all costs, because they basically have become our economy. Sad.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2012, 07:12 AM

2. Du rec. Nt

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