Monday, January 11, 2010

White House to Push for "Singapore/Zurich Full Employment Act of 2010"

Ok ok, that's not what they're calling it, but they would if they had any sense of reality (or sick humor).  From today's Wall Street Journal:
The Obama administration is aiming to hit banks with a fee to recoup losses associated with the government's bailout of financial firms and the auto industry, administration officials say.

The White House hopes the fee will soothe the public's anger at financial firms. Most big banks that received public funds have repaid the government, but the industry is seen by many as having survived thanks to taxpayer support, and is now enjoying a profit rebound as the economy struggles. This month, many large banks will resume paying big bonuses to employees.

Much remains uncertain about how such a fee would work. The administration is wrestling with who should pay, when it should be implemented and what would happen if banks pay more than the government-bailout program ultimately loses. Auto makers aren't currently targets of the fee idea.

Even though the proposal is still under discussion, it is expected to be included in the White House's budget, due next month, if only conceptually. It's expected to cost large banks billions of dollars and could also affect bank customers if firms pass along the cost.
To be fair, I guess they could also call it the "New Bank User Fees Act of 2010."

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