Sunday, February 24, 2013

Allison, John A. (2012-09-06). The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism is the World Economy’s Only Hope. McGraw-Hill. Kindle Edition.

...The day after TARP passed, we were contacted by our regulators. This was an informal contact over the phone. I received a very carefully stated nondocumentable message. The essence of the message was that although BB& T had substantially more capital than it needed under long-established regulatory standards, given the current economic environment, the regulators were going to create a new set of capital standards. They did not know what the standards would be.

However, they were “very concerned” that we would not have enough capital under these new standards unless we took the TARP capital. They had a regulatory team in place to reexamine our capital position immediately unless we took the TARP funding. The threat was very clear. We said, “Please sign us up for TARP.”

...There were three large financial institutions that were in severe distress at the time of the TARP discussion. Bernanke believed that if he tried to save these specific companies, the market would turn on them and they would face a major liquidity problem. However, if TARP were positioned as a program to provide liquidity to banks to encourage them to lend, instead of as a bailout, and especially if healthy banks participated, the market would not see the program as a bailout of specific firms. Even if it was viewed as a bailout (which it was), it would be seen as an industry rescue, not a rescue of specific banks. Therefore, the Fed effectively forced all banks with $ 100 billion and over to participate....