Wells Fargo CEO Says TARP Is Un-American


Fighting words from Wells Fargo (WFC) CEO Richard Kovacevich.

During a speech at Stanford University, Kovacevich slammed the retroactive pay restrictions, asking: “Is this America — when you do what your government asks you to do and then retroactively you also have additional conditions?”

If we were not forced to take the TARP money, we would have been able to raise private capital at that time,” he added.


This is easy to say now, but at the time there was fear that every major bank was going to collapse. Were there really billions in private capital awaiting Wells Fargo if they hadn’t taken TARP.

Anyway, Kovacevich is one of many bankers to talk about returning TARP, but so far very few actually have. Iberia Bank in Louisiana is one, but that’s pretty small change.

So let’s see if JPMorgan (JPM), Goldman (GS) and Bank of America (BAC) will just return our cash already.

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