Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. government’s decision to pledge billions of additional dollars with strings attached to Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. may be nationalization by another name, according to former bankers and regulators. Faced with pressure from lawmakers, banks have shaken up management, eliminated executive bonuses and staff and canceled conventions. They’ll be forced to do monthly reports on how they’ve boosted lending while slashing quarterly dividends to one cent a share for three years. “When the Treasury tells a bank to pay a penny a share vs. its old dividend, you know who’s calling the shots,” said Jon Bruss, a 40-year industry veteran and founder of Hartland, Wisconsin-based Fortress Partners Capital Management Ltd., which invests in banks. “It may not be de jure nationalization but I think it’s de facto nationalization.” While avoiding steps taken by the U.K., which this week acquired a 70 percent stake in Royal Bank of Scotland Plc, U.S. regulators are no longer passively injecting capital into the nation’s biggest banks. Investors have fled, sending Citigroup and Bank of America down by more than 50 percent this year, on concern that tougher U.S. oversight is coming after the government takeover last year of mortgage financers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and insurer American International Group Inc. Citigroup, based in New York, tumbled 56 cents, or 15 percent, to $3.11 yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange. Bank of America plunged 97 cents, or 15 percent, to $5.71. The 24- company KBW Bank Index has dropped 36 percent in 2009, following last year’s 50 percent decline.
However the government shutdown plays out, the GOP needs a serious debt-ceiling plan, quickly. They said they wanted to avoid it, but at the stroke of midnight Monday, four people got the government shutdown they wanted. President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wanted … Continue Reading
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 President Obama will hold a press conference today to push his deficit-cutting plan as lawmakers in Washington battle over ways to prevent the massive tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled for January 1. Given the partisan bickering, a bare majority of voters … Continue Reading
By KEVIN CIRILLI | 11/13/12 11:36 AM EST A Montana state lawmaker is asking that he be paid in gold coins because of his lack of faith in the U.S. dollar amid a rising deficit. Jerry O’Neil, a Republican just reelected in his northern Montana … Continue Reading
By AMY BINGHAM (@Amy_Bingham) Sept. 18, 2012 Mitt Romney gave up on winning support from nearly half of the American electorate in May, telling wealthy supporters at a private fundraiser that he could not hope to win the votes of the 47 percent of … Continue Reading
Life’s experience, political common sense, passion to succeed, never satisfied but always happy.