reportonbusiness.com: globeinvestor.com – U.S. banks can repay bailout cash: “NEW YORK — Washington signalled a turning point Tuesday in its long-running battle to stabilize Wall Street, telling 10 of the country’s largest banks they are healthy enough to begin repaying $68-billion (U.S.) in government aid.
J.P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are among the financial institutions that will be allowed to exit the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and in the process free themselves from onerous government oversight and restrictions on executive pay.
Only eight months ago, amid the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the near failure of insurance giant American International Group, there was widespread panic about a meltdown of the U.S. financial system.
But the apparent reversal of fortune for many of these big financial firms has happened faster than expected: Indeed, the Treasury Department initially predicted it would recoup only about $25-billion this year of the emergency TARP funds it has handed out.
Yet even with this latest green shoot, there are lingering concerns about the banking industry’s strength. President Barack Obama cautioned against attaching too much significance to the TARP repayments, and said the country still faces a struggle to overcome the worst economic downturn in generations.”