GOVERNMENT TO BANKS: NO FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS.

Tim Geithner is set to decree that if banks want to repay their TARP loans and slip out of the compensation caps and oversight rules that come with government backing, then they'll have to also sacrifice the sweet, sweet lending arrangements the Feds have been giving them through the FDIC. In other words, you can't only leave the government subsidies you don't like.

The bottom line for the banks is that if they want out of TARP, they have to be able to withdraw from all the other sources of emergency public support that the government has given them. If they want the support, then they have to agree to the conditions and regulations that come with TARP. No subsidies without regulations. To put it into more common terms, banks can decide to break up with the government or they can decide to stay together. But they don't get to be friends with benefits.

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