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Bankers And Regulators Headed For A Showdown

Sometimes I wonder if their parents ever said no to these bankers. They don't want to take any responsibility, they don't want to accept any restric

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Sometimes I wonder if their parents ever said no to these bankers. They don't want to take any responsibility, they don't want to accept any restrictions, they reject the notion that there should be economic consequences to their own behavior - and they don't want us to know what they're doing with our money. Maybe we should get rid of Timothy Geitner and appoint Supernanny!

WASHINGTON — As the Obama administration completes its examinations of the nation’s largest banks, industry executives are bracing for fights with the government over repayment of bailout money and forced sales of bad mortgages.

President Obama emerged from a meeting with his senior economic advisers on Friday to say “what you’re starting to see is glimmers of hope across the economy.” But there were also signs of growing tensions between the White House and the nation’s banks over the next phase of the financial rescue.

Some of the healthier banks want to pay back their bailout loans to avoid executive pay and other restrictions that come with the money. But the banks are balking at the hefty premium they agreed to pay when they took the money.

Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, and two other executives of large banks raised the issue with Mr. Obama and the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, at a meeting two weeks ago.

[...] Finally, there is increasing anxiety in the industry that the administration could use the stress tests of the 19 biggest banks, due to be completed in the next three weeks, to insist on management changes, just as it did with General Motors when officials forced the resignation of its chief executive after examining that company’s books.

[...] Even though the Treasury Department plans to subsidize the purchases of toxic assets by giving buyers low-cost loans to cover most of their upfront cost, a growing number of analysts warn that many if not most banks will remain reluctant to sell.

“The gap is still very wide,” said Frank Pallotta, a former mortgage trader at Morgan Stanley, now a consultant to institutional investors. “If every bank was forced to sell at the market-clearing price, you’d have only five banks left in the market.”

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