lifting the tarp

It’s a TARP-Payback Party!

Because some merry prankster at the Treasury Department was apparently like, “Why don’t we have a little fun and do this thing like a blind item,” the government did not name the ten banks allowed to repay the TARP this morning. Instead, the banks leaked the news themselves, via press releases and internal victory notes that the Times DealBook, having collected some and pressed them into their scanners for posterity, describe in tone as being “almost giddy.”

The official list: Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, of course; American Express, Bank of New York Mellon, the BB&T Corporation, Capital One Financial, the State Street Corporation, US Bancorp, Morgan Stanley, Northern Trust, and Citigroup. Ha, just kidding about that last one — I was just checking to make sure you were paying attention. Citigroup didn’t even apply. But look, now’s no time for a Pandit Pity Party — it’s time to celebrate! But before Dimon and friends head out for a rager, President Obama has a little something he wants to say.

The return of these funds does not provide forgiveness for past excesses or permission for future misdeeds,” Mr. Obama said. “It is critical that as our country emerges from this period of crisis, that we learn its lessons; that those who seek reward do not take reckless risk; that short-term gains are not pursued without regard for long-term consequences.”

Whatever, dad. Give them the keys already. Christ.

Treasury Lets 10 Big Banks Start to Repay Bailout Money [NYT]

It’s a TARP-Payback Party!