Wall Street wants its bailout, and its bonuses, too, and this sure-to-be-popular fee on banks Barack Obama is considering isn't sitting well at all. “Current law doesn’t trigger this tax proposal for another four years,” objected the top lobbyist at the Financial Services Roundtable, referring to a provision in the TARP law that requires the president to try to recoup losses from banks—but not until five years after the law’s passage.
At present those losses amount to roughly $120 billion, most of it from automakers and AIG. The law also doesn’t say how the money should be recouped. The administration is weighing several options, but any fee would likely exempt AIG, automakers, and community banks. Democrats would also like to protect consumers, but it’ll be tough. “To impose yet another burden on the industry would obviously decrease their ability to lend,” the president of the ABA warned the Wall Street Journal.