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As Big Banks Repay Bailout Money, U.s. Sees A Profit

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http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/31/business...tml?_r=1&hp

Nearly a year after the federal rescue of the nation’s biggest banks, taxpayers have begun seeing profits from the hundreds of billions of dollars in aid that many critics thought might never be seen again.

The profits, collected from eight of the biggest banks that have fully repaid their obligations to the government, come to about $4 billion, or the equivalent of about 15 percent annually, according to calculations compiled for The New York Times.

These early returns are by no means a full accounting of the huge financial rescue undertaken by the federal government last year to stabilize teetering banks and other companies.

The government still faces potentially huge long-term losses from its bailouts of the insurance giant American International Group, the mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the automakers General Motors and Chrysler. The Treasury Department could also take a hit from its guarantees on billions of dollars of toxic mortgages.

But the mere hint of bailout profits for the nearly year-old Troubled Asset Relief Program has been received as a welcome surprise. It has also spurred hopes that the government could soon get out of the banking business.

“The taxpayers want their money back and they want the government out of our banking system,†Representative Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican and a member of the Congressional Oversight Panel examining the relief program, said in an interview.

Profits were hardly high on the list of government priorities last October, when a financial panic was in full swing and the Treasury Department started spending roughly $240 billion to buy preferred shares from hundreds of banks that were facing huge potential losses from troubled mortgages. Bank stocks began teetering after Lehman Brothers collapsed and the government rescued A.I.G., and fear gripped the financial industry around the world.

American taxpayers were told they would eventually make a modest return from these investments, including a 5 percent quarterly dividend on the banks’ preferred shares and warrants to buy stock in the banks at a set price over 10 years.

But critics at the time warned that taxpayers might not see any profits, and that it could take years for the banks to repay the loans.

As Congress debated the bailout bill last September that would authorize the Treasury Department to spend up to $700 billion to stem the financial crisis, Representative Mac Thornberry, Republican of Texas, said: “Seven hundred billion dollars of taxpayer money should not be used as a hopeful experiment.â€

So far, that experiment is more than paying off. The government has taken profits of about $1.4 billion on its investment in Goldman Sachs, $1.3 billion on Morgan Stanley and $414 million on American Express. The five other banks that repaid the government — Northern Trust, Bank of New York Mellon, State Street, U.S. Bancorp and BB&T — each brought in $100 million to $334 million in profit.

The figure does not include the roughly $35 million the government has earned from 14 smaller banks that have paid back their loans. The government bought shares in these and many other financial companies last fall, when sinking confidence among investors pushed down many bank stocks to just a few dollars a share. As the banks strengthened and became profitable, the government authorized them to pay back the preferred stock, which had been paying quarterly dividends since October.

All you can say is this is a short term profit that can quite easily be wiped out by the likes of AIG etc... You also have the problem that some of this "profit" has probably been generated through AIG circulating it's rescue cash back to the big banks.

However from a happy clappy point of view this article is great and points towards a full recovery as the govt is getting it's money back.....

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They are not counting the savings tax.

Before you got 5% today you get 1%. That is 4% of the money supply to the banks as a back hander from mother central bank

In the uk that works out to over £100B a year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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great they made 4bn in potential tax savings...rejoice, the 7trn in debt is being paid down....or not.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/31/business...tml?_r=1&hp

All you can say is this is a short term profit that can quite easily be wiped out by the likes of AIG etc... You also have the problem that some of this "profit" has probably been generated through AIG circulating it's rescue cash back to the big banks.

However from a happy clappy point of view this article is great and points towards a full recovery as the govt is getting it's money back.....

Duh - the money came from AIG aka Lee Harvey Oswald.

<_<

Edited by Alan B'Stard MP

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