Notably absent from this morning’s list of TARP escapees is Wells Fargo (WFC), the bank in which Warren Buffett has said he’d be willing to invest his entire net worth.
The bank has never been a fan of of the TARP — it’s Chairman has called it un-American — and the fact that it was forced to raise capital is probably why Buffett slammed the Treasury’s decision to focus on Tangible Common Equity, rather than Tier 1.
Our guess is that it won’t be that long before the bank does repay TARP, and it will likely escape before Bank of America (BAC), which many expect to be out before the end of the year. Perhaps the fact that it’s got such gigantic exposure to mortgage and generally the consumer is why the government is being gun-shy on this one. Also recall that there were some big red flags surrounding its Q1 earnings (like all banks), so perhaps it’s a matter of repeating the performance this quarter.