Even Healthy Banks Eye Bailout Bucks

Institutions fear market will judge them harshly for not tapping into $700B pot
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Nov 3, 2008 9:58 AM CST
Banks have until Nov. 14 to apply for funds under Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's bailout program; some analysts worry there won't be enough money to go around.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Investor and public pressure could prompt up to 1800 more financial institutions, both publicly and privately held, to apply for a share of the $700 billion bailout fund, the Wall Street Journal reports. The cash-grab likely stems from fear that failing to do so would make an institution look like it wasn’t savvy enough to take advantage of the potential windfall or healthy enough to qualify.

Hundreds of institutions applied for funds, many looking to use the cash for acquisitions or investments. Some, originally averse to participating, have had their minds changed by lobbyists and the Treasury Department’s own efforts. “There's a perception in the market that the government is actively picking winners and losers,” one CEO said.