L'Etat, c'est la grande fiction à travers laquelle tout le monde s'efforce de vivre aux dépens de tout le monde. Frédéric Bastiat

mardi 14 avril 2009

TARP: remboursements?

En toute logique, les banques qui bénéficient de l'aide de l'Etat ne peuvent plus prendre seules certaines décisions importantes. C'est le cas de la politique de rémunération des cadres (dont les fameux bonus) sur laquelle les gouvernements "bailleurs de fonds" veulent influer.

Goldman Sachs l'a bien compris (les bonus permettent d'attirer et de conserver les meilleurs éléments) et souhaite au plus vite rembourser les aides reçues (10 milliards de $) en procédant à une augmentation de capital:

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., buoyed by profit that exceeded the most optimistic Wall Street estimates and a 54 percent jump in its stock price, plans to raise $5 billion to repay federal rescue funds and shed government limits on executive pay.

Il semble que Washington acceptera le remboursement des fonds dans ce cas précis bien qu'il n'en ira pas toujours de même avec d'autres institutions financières:

(...) I really thought the administration would welcome the return of bank bailout money. Some $340 million in TARP cash flowed back this week from four small banks in Louisiana, New York, Indiana and California. This isn't much when we routinely talk in trillions, but clearly that money has not been wasted or otherwise sunk down Wall Street's black hole. So why no cheering as the cash comes back?

My answer: The government wants to control the banks, just as it now controls GM and Chrysler, and will surely control the health industry in the not-too-distant future. (...)

The chairman offers to write a check, now, with interest. He's been sitting on the cash for months and has felt the dead hand of government threatening to run his business and dictate pay scales. He sees the writing on the wall and he wants out. But the Obama team says no, since unlike the smaller banks that gave their TARP money back, this bank is far more prominent. The bank has also been threatened with "adverse" consequences if its chairman persists. That's politics talking, not economics. (...)

D'autres banquiers regrettent amèrement d'avoir accepté l'argent du contribuable et se disent que, peut-être, on aurait mieux fait de laisser le libre marché effectuer son travail naturel de réallocation des ressources:

Richard M. Kovacevich, chairman of Wells Fargo, expressed outrage at the TARP money he accepted and the strings that might be attached to it after the bonus bill passed last week.

“Is this America, when you can do what your government asks you to do and then retroactively you also have additional conditions put on?” he asked after a speech at Stanford University, according to Reuters. He went on to say that he wished he had never accepted the TARP money.

We would have been able to raise private capital at that time, and with that private capital, given what is going on today, it is very unlikely that we would have had to reduce the dividend.”

Il fallait peut-être y penser avant, non ?...