As the bank stress tests are released, it is vital that the public receive specific and detailed information on each financial institution. The Administration’s and the Federal Reserve’s continued policy of attempting to disguise the differing health of each bank has been a failure. What is best for the taxpayer and the investing public is sufficient information to separate the good banks from the bad.
For those institutions which lack sufficient capital to remain solvent, they should seek private capital or else be closed and resolved. Too many taxpayer dollars have already been wasted keeping alive failed institutions. The Administration’s policy of keeping failed institutions on taxpayer-financed life-support only serves to retard the market’s ability to move assets away from those who do not, or cannot, make productive use of them toward those who can. It is time to remember that the unparalleled wealth-creating engine of the market depends as much on allowing failure as it does in encouraging success.
Banks passing the stress tests should be allowed and encouraged to re-pay their TARP funds as soon as possible, and with no additional strings attached. More importantly, the Administration should use any returned TARP funds to pay-down the increasing government debt, rather than be diverted to bailing-out other failed companies.