Obama's Auto Crackdown Worries Bailed-Out Banks

After Wagoner ousting, financials fear similar fate
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 31, 2009 8:12 AM CDT
From right, CEOs of Wells Fargo (John Spumpf), Citigroup (Vikram Pandit), Morgan Stanley (John Mack), State Street (Ronald Logue) and BofA (Ken Lewis) testify on Capitol Hill, Feb. 11, 2009.    (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – After the Obama administration kicked out GM’s boss and said two of the Big Three automakers may benefit from bankruptcy, CEOs of banks bailed out by the government are wondering if there's a bull's-eye on their backs, the Washington Post reports. The risk of such a crackdown has been “heightened,” says a financial lobbyist, and the biggest banks are the most likely to be in the crosshairs.

At risk may be Citigroup’s Vikram Pandit and Bank of America’s Ken Lewis, analysts said. But “there is a key difference between GM and Chrysler and the large banks going forward,” one expert notes. While the “future profitability” of the auto firms raises doubts, “the large banks by and large have good business models going forward,” likely protecting them from similar White House moves.