Thursday, January 29, 2009

Good Corporate Citizen

Oyster highlights an old quote from a few weeks ago by one of New Orleans' benevolent business overlords.

From the NYT:

At the Palm Beach Ritz-Carlton last November, John C. Hope III, the chairman of Whitney National Bank in New Orleans, stood before a ballroom full of Wall Street analysts and explained how his bank intended to use its $300 million in federal bailout money.

“Make more loans?” Mr. Hope said. “We’re not going to change our business model or our credit policies to accommodate the needs of the public sector as they see it to have us make more loans.”


For Mr. Hope, the Whitney National Bank chairman, “the main motivation for TARP” was not more loans, but rather to safeguard against the “possibility things could get a lot worse.” He said Whitney would continue making loans “that we would have made with or without TARP.”

“We see TARP as an insurance policy,” he said. “That when all this stuff is finally over, no matter how bad it gets, we’re going to be one of the remaining banks.”

Financial corporations act in the interest of financial corporations. Who'd have thunk it?

Taxpayers gave Whitney Bank $300,000,000 for absolutely nothing.

If we try to raise corporate taxes in two or three years to help recoup our losses or to fund more infrastructure, will bankers remember this great favor we've granted?

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