ProPublica reports on the second, under-the-radar bank bailout:
The federal government still holds investments in hundreds of small banks around the country in the Troubled Asset Relief Program, otherwise known as the bailout. In an effort to wind down TARP, the government is trying to sell off its holdings of preferred stock of the remaining smaller banks.
The problem is that the Treasury Department isn’t getting great bids on some of the bank paper, even on the shares of banks with strong profits and strong capital. When the government sold its holdings in MetroCorp Bancshares of Houston this month, the bank itself bought back most of it – at 98 cents on the dollar. Wilshire Bancorp of Los Angeles bought back its paper at 94 cents on the dollar. The Treasury Department sold preferred shares of Ohio-based First Defiance at 96 cents, and Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina at 93 cents. All of these are regarded as healthy.
Who makes up the difference? Taxpayers, of course. [Emph. added]
Ugh. You heard it here first. This is a ridiculous and completely avoidable waste of taxpayer money. . . .