Having tried without success to unlock frozen credit markets, the Treasury Department is considering taking ownership stakes in many United States banks to try to restore confidence in the financial system, according to government officials.
Treasury officials say the just-passed $700 billion bailout bill gives them the authority to inject cash directly into banks that request it. Such a move would quickly strengthen banks’ balance sheets and, officials hope, persuade them to resume lending. In return, the law gives the Treasury the right to take ownership positions in banks, including healthy ones.
The Treasury plan was still preliminary and it was unclear how the process would work, but it appeared that it would be voluntary for banks.
“Did you read the New York Times?,” I got a harried call from another friend who is married to an i-banker.
“Uh. Huh. What?” I clearly had no knowledge of what the paper had written.
“How could you?,” she accused me. I hurriedly opened the darned website and she directed me to the page.
“You know what is happening. My husband said that the core problem is that the smart people are realizing that the banking system is broken.” She added smartly.
Here, I was groping for an answer. My “smart” husband hadn’t told me anything to quip back. I hunted desperately in NYT’s article to help me with a reply. Fruitless…
Among the i-banker wife community, it’s a battle of words to establish your husband’s intelligence by quoting him or referring to articles from the business dailies (that he would have referred to) is a routine exercise. And I clearly lost this round.
Sensing that I had no reply, there was a smug satisfaction in my friend’s next statement. “I wonder how while away your time. Financial markets is what you should be tracking nowadays.”
I guess so.