A fascinating article from The Politico today takes you inside tough-talking Barry's meeting with the CEO's of the nation's largest banks...he came in late and talked to these businessmen like they were at the principal's office.
“Be careful how you make those statements, gentlemen. The public isn’t buying that.”
“My administration,” the president added, “is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”
There's that "savior complex" again.
“The only way they could have sent a more Spartan message is if they had served bread along with the water,” says a person who attended the meeting. “The signal from Obama’s body language and demeanor was, ‘I’m the president, and you’re not.’”
....JPMorgan’s Dimon spoke first. He began by complimenting the president on the economic team he’d assembled. And he said his industry needs to explain more directly to the American people that the economic recovery plans are already working. Dimon also insisted that he’d like to give the government’s TARP money back as soon as practical, and asked the president to “streamline” that process. But Obama didn’t like that idea — arguing that the system still needs government capital.
The president offered an analogy: “This is like a patient who’s on antibiotics,” he said. “Maybe the patient starts feeling better after a couple of days, but you don’t stop taking the medicine until you’ve finished the bottle.” Returning the money too early, the president argued could send a bad signal.
Several CEOs disagreed, arguing instead that returning TARP money was their patriotic duty, that they didn’t need it anymore, and that publicity surrounding the return would send a positive signal of confidence to the markets.
I'm with the CEO's- give the money back asap and let's be done with this.