A number of U.S. banks are unhappy with the Treasury Department’s Trouble Asset Relief Program or TARP. In an interview with Bloomberg News, Wells Fargo’s Richard Kovacevich said the Obama administration’s insistence on adding new conditions to TARP recipients forced his bank to cut its dividend. Kovacevich called Treasury’s plan to give banks a stress test “asinine.”
Kovacevich told Bloomberg his bank took TARP money in October only because the government leaned on the country’s nine largest banks to do so. He said Wells Fargo would’ve been able to raise private capital if it hadn’t been pressured to take TARP funds.
Wells Fargo joins Bank of America, U.S. Bancorp and Goldman Sachs on a list of banks unhappy with new TARP rules that affect lending, foreclosures, executive pay and perks. Understanding the bankers’ beef with the government, seeing them return the TARP money wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for taxpayers.