Paulson and the Banks: What an Offer You Can’t Refuse Looks Like

James Gattuso /


Ever since the results of the government’s stress tests were released, banks across the country have been rushing to escape from their TARP traps. Now comes more details on how they got snared to start with. Documents made public this week by the Treasury Department – pursuant to a Freedom of Information request by the advocacy group Judicial Watch provide a glimpse into the October 13, 2008 meeting at which then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson arm-twisted CEO’s of the nation’s nine largest banks into ceding hundreds of billions worth of equity in their enterprises to the U.S. government.

The fateful meeting appears from the documents like a James Bond movie performed by the Keystone Kops. (more…)