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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid