Fee Controversy Keeps TARP Top of Mind

President Obama is set to release his 2011 budget plans in February, and it's rumored that a proposed TARP fee will require financial institutions to help replenish the money taxpayers forked over in 2008.


We’re in the middle of a national budget deficit the likes of which we have not seen in nearly 70 years, and it looks like President Obama will look toward financial institutions to help replenish the money taxpayers forked over in the Great Bank Bailout of 2008. Although the Administration won’t dish on the details of a purported bank fee until February, when President Obama is set to release his 2011 budget plans, the press - The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, to name just two – is all over the story.

Public scrutiny, dismay, and disappointment already abound over the cost of the bailout and the subsequent bold and remorseless actions of Wall Street. Credit unions have been making the argument that they did not partake in the risky lending actions that caused the economic meltdown, nor have they required tax payers’ assistance in the form of bail out funds. My guess is the public will support a fee to “discourage risky banking behavior and to raise revenue.” I doubt Wall Street will show the same enthusiasm. The fee, it's structure, and all resulting debate will provide yet another arena in which credit unions can differentiate themselves from other financial institutions and promote the power of the cooperative. As an added bonus, we have advance notice. Let’s not wait until after the budget plans are released to start the conversation and tell the credit union story. Tell it now. Tell it loud.


Jan. 12, 2010


  • Obama's added Tax will be passed on to the public, should give CUs another advantage.
  • UPDATE: more information is rolling out. Here is just one article from the Wall Street Journal:

    A new tax proposed by the White House -- called a "financial crisis responsibility fee" -- would force about 50 banks, insurance companies and large broker-dealers to collectively pay the federal government roughly $90 billion over 10 years, White House officials said. Of the 50, about 35 would be U.S. companies and 10 to 15 would be U.S. subsidiaries of foreign financial firms.