Well, I’ll be “darned”

US Bancorp CEO Richard Davis is the first person to tell the truth about the US government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program:

“I will say this very bluntly: We were told to take it. Not asked, told. ‘You will

take it,’ ” Davis said. “It doesn’t matter if you were there on the first night and you were told to sign on the dotted line before you walked out of the office, or whether in the days that followed, you were told to take it.”

Davis went on to say in his talk that while government officials marketed the program as a way to entice banks to lend again, TARP actually was designed to give solid banks like U.S. Bancorp some extra cash to buy weaker banks in the system.

[…] “We were told to take it so that we could help Darwin synthesize the weaker banks and acquire those and put them under different leadership,” he said. “We are not even allowed to mention that. … We were supposed to say the TARP money was used for lending.

And from the Consumerist (which is totally awesome, and well worth adding to your feed reader):

He went on to say he would be “darned” if US Bancorp were to become part of of the “collateral damage” from the government’s “sloppy attempt at nationalizing the [banking] industry.” In so doing, Davis became the first major banking CEO to not talk horseshit since the crisis began.

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2 Responses to Well, I’ll be “darned”

  1. Tobe Freeman says:

    I recently listened to the UBS top dog speak at a research meeting and he certainly wasn’t riding tall as Davis is here. I struggle to see Davis’ logic, nor the logic of making such comments? Do you, Josh?

  2. Anonymous says:

    It seems interesting that Davis would take a swing at the TARP, but the facts seem pretty plausible, and his reasoning is sound: US Bancorp is one of the strongest banks in the system, and he probably wouldn’t have been thrilled to have three billion dollars of cash crammed down his throat. If memory serves, JPM kicked up a bit of a stink at the time as well…

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