[quote]Wall Street banks have taken billions of taxpayer dollars. Now some of them are starting to wonder if they should give the money back.
Even before the government announced its latest efforts to fix the troubled banking industry on Tuesday, executives at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley said they wanted to repay the money quickly. Both banks received $10 billion under the first rescue plan last fall.
Paying back all those funds would be difficult in this tough economic environment. But banking executives worry that the government may intrude further into their businesses as long as they are beholden to Washington.
“We just think that operating our business without the government capital would be an easier thing to do,” said David A. Viniar, the chief financial officer of Goldman. “We’d be under less scrutiny, and under less pressure. Not that we’d be out of the public eye; we’re still going to be in the public eye.”
The issue is likely to draw close scrutiny on Wednesday, when executives from eight banks are scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill. The efforts to break free of government support reflects a growing trepidation among Wall Street’s largest players about their independence and the new rules that may be imposed on them because they accepted federal capital.
In recent weeks, the Obama administration has announced that banks will have to disclose more information about their spending and cap executive pay at $500,000. Several lawmakers have gone further with proposed measures about compensation for all bank employees as well as halting certain types of immigration visas for companies that received government money.[/quote]
This is SUCH a far cry from the Bush administration. Still think change hasn’t come to Washington? Think Limbaugh or O’Reilly will mention this? Too bad the Republican “base” doesn’t read the New York Times.