News / USA

US President to Big Banks: 'We Want Our Money Back'

U.S. President Barack Obama is calling on the country's top banks to take responsibility for their role in the global financial crisis and repay the financial industry bailout in full.

The president Thursday said it was unacceptable for American taxpayers to lose any money when many financial firms are now reporting "massive profits" and giving top executives, in his words, "obscene bonuses."

He said many of the firms would not have survived without government help.

Mr. Obama is proposing a "financial crisis responsibility fee" for about 50 of the country's largest banks and financial firms, including some that did not get government help during the crisis.

He said it would raise $90 billion over the next 10 years, and that it would remain in place until all of the bailout money has been paid back.

The United States set up a $700-billion program in late 2008, known as TARP, to assist financial firms in danger of collapsing because of the financial crisis.  While many top U.S. banks have already repaid the government, officials say with the fee, the program could still lose $170 billion.

But some top bank officials are already criticizing the fee.

JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon called it "a bad idea," warning that businesses tend to pass additional costs onto their customers.

President Obama criticized complaints from the banking industry, saying their insistence that it was fairer for taxpayers to fund the total cost of the financial industry bailout was "twisted logic."

The proposed fee is being included in President Obama's proposed budget and will have to be approved by lawmakers.

Meanwhile, one day after questioning top bankers, the bipartisan panel created by Congress to investigate the causes of the financial crisis heard from top government regulators.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Thursday that he would use every tool at his disposal to crack down on investment fraud.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Sheila Bair admitted regulators failed to do enough, but also criticized the U.S. central bank for failing to use its powers effectively.

The Federal Reserve Thursday urged key lawmakers not to strip it of its authority to supervise banks.

Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a letter to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, that reducing its powers would deprive the Fed of information it needs to set monetary policy.
 

Some information for this report was provided by AP, Bloomberg and Reuters.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Troops Depart

Afghans are grappling with how exodus will affect country's fragile economy More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs