John Hinderaker has spotted a trend and we think it’s a long time coming. Financial firms and businesses, even one’s in trouble, but especially those that are not, are quickly discovering that government funds come with strings, and the rules can change (and often do) in the middle of the game. 

Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis now says that taking $20 billion from the federal government to support BoA’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch was a “tactical mistake.” Lewis says he expects BoA to repay the $45 billion it owes the government over the next two to three years.

Uhh, yeah … and one of my former brothers on the street says they are not the only one … and reminded me of this … when JP Morgan cut its dividend last week by 87%.

The savings from cutting the dividend will put the bank in a position to pay back more quickly the $25 billion it took from the government last fall under the Troubled Asset Relief Program. J.P. Morgan has said it was encouraged to take the money and didn’t need it.

They realize what you soon will if you agree to mortgage cash, or federal health care … nothing comes for free and everything they do has strings and rules can change in the middle of the game.

3 replies
  1. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Just more proof that these guys aren't as smart as their Ivy League degrees say they are.  If we can see it coming, the great unwashed if you will, how come they couldn't?

    Not only do the government funds come with strings, but the politician puppeteers are complete economic ignoramuses at a minimum.  If the guy heading the Treasury Dept. can't even do his freakin' taxes, how can we expect him and these other schmucks to fix this problem.

    You can't heal the wound if you keep picking at the scab….

  2. BryJ3023
    BryJ3023 says:

    The government has given AIG I believe more than 150 billion, How much more are they willing to spend before they realize AIG is not going to turn around?

    • Wyndeward
      Wyndeward says:

      Given the number of teachers who are policy holders?  Expect a whole lot more cash to go down the sump.

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