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.