Journalism in the Public Interest

Louisiana Bank Says It Will Return Bailout Bucks

 There has been ample grumbling from bankers who took the Treasury Department’s money. Now, it seems we have our first bank to actually follow through and return the money.

The Treasury bought $90 million worth of preferred stock in IberiaBank, based in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Dec. 5. Yesterday, the bank announced it has given the Treasury notice that the money is coming right back. The reason, says the bank’s CEO in a press release: “We believe recent actions, interpretations, and commentary regarding various aspects of the program places our Company at an unacceptable competitive disadvantage.”

Not the clearest explanation, to be sure. (Our call to the bank for a clearer take wasn’t immediately returned.) Another CEO from a Louisiana bank, MidSouth, was plainer about his discontent last week: “They’re talking about attaching all sorts of strings to the money… The Treasury needs to stop listening to the special interests of the ‘too big to fail’ banks that got us into this trouble and break them up. And at the same time it should back away from community banks and let us do what we’re supposed to do with the TARP funds – lend the money.”

Clearly the bailout isn’t popular, and the bankers are unhappy about the added compensation limits and public pressure to lend. Under the new limits passed by Congress earlier this month, the five most highly compensated execs at IberiaBank would have seen their bonuses limited.

IberiaBank announced that it will be delivering about $575,000 in dividends to the Treasury along with the $90 million investment on Mar. 31. A Treasury spokesman told ProPublica it did receive the bank’s request and said the redemption should take place without a hitch.

The Treasury has invested in more than 400 banks throughout the country and has been signing up more and more weekly, as you can see on our running tally.

About 162 banks have announced that they won’t be taking the Treasury’s cash, according to the investment firm Keefe, Bruyette, and Woods, but this is the first time that a bank has taken the money and then given it back. A sign of things to come?

Nelson Robison

Feb. 28, 2009, 10:08 a.m.

Let us all pray that as the banks in Louisiana go, so goes the State of Louisiana.
Gov. Jindal’s speech in response to the President’s State of the Union speech, was the most immature and sophomoric piece of diatribe that I have heard these many years.
The Grand Orgy Party, could have chosen much better in their search for someone to rebut President Obama’s speech. As it is, the Grand Orgy Party is going down in flames and is increasing in speed as the demographics of America change and WASP’s become simply part of the mix instead of the majority.

That bank is the ONE bank that has common sense and the survival instinct. You are right; the GOP could have found a more trained, fake, lying, manipulative, hateful,Chicago thug, teleprompter addicted person to respond to Big O’s speech to congress. Sorry, it wasn’t a State of the Union speech yet.  He’s only been in the office for 5 1/l2 weeks. Governor Jindal’s speech was not given in the charismatic style that most morons in our beloved country crave at this time.  HOWEVER, the content and substance of his speech was the essence of the true freedom and success of our country that elevates us the the greatest , most benevolent, freest, country of all time.  Demographics?  Wasps?  It always comes down to race, doesn’t it?  No REAL discussion using your brain.  Just emotional racism.  Racism is so old and tiring now.  GET OVER IT.  It justs shows ignorance.  True compassion for people gives them freedom.  It doesn’t legislate and tax them to death and tell them to get on the dole because they can’t do it anyway.  My God.  Grow up.

Good for them.The Bush Admin Jammed that TARP down every banks throat whether they wanted it or not- That’s what happens when you write legislation in only 2 1/2 pages and pass it in less than a week- No Regulations, No Accountablity and No Economic Benefit.That’s why The Stim added not only Regs, Acct, but also an ‘Opt out clause’.
Appears The LA Bank is the only REAL example of what Repugs CLAIM is their ideology. Let’s be honest if either Party put this country in motion to be ‘Socialist’ It was the Repugs.Isn’t it interesting that Lindsay Grahman is talking about Nationiziing the Banks and the WH is the one resisting that option? Had the Repug controlled congress from ‘94-06 Not allowed a Wall street Free for All (convergence of Banks and investment firms)we would not now be facing the mass Corp Welfare program all their Corp cronies are standing in line for.So Who’s the ones instituting ‘Socialistic ’ Ideas, and Who is more interested in maintaining a Free market system? The GOP The Masters of ‘Bait & Switch’.Reagan ran up the Deficit with his fantasy ‘Star Wars’ (along with Tax increases), HW’s “Read My Lips"and Further downward spiral into recession and Well W’s Fait Accompli of ‘Steal from the Poor to give to the Rich’Tax code (basis for a Feudalistic Caste system- exactly what The Rev. War was fought over)- and Volia you have the party of Snake Oil Dealers.Even MY 75 yr old racial fearful Republican Mother has come to see the Hypocrisy of the GOP, Because she’s not senile and knows the REAL History of the last 30 years.

audrey fisher

March 1, 2009, 2:58 p.m.

Amusing…the banks were more than willing to accept “free money” from Paulsen, but once the Obama Administration’s Finance Committee started added ACTUAL requirements on the money and the bank itself…they cry FOUL.  Are we now suppose to feel sympathy for the banks?  We can’t get loans from them when the money was free to them…but now they are giving the “free gift” back AND are willing to lend….bet they didn’t see anything but a gift horse from Bush…but failed to see the bucking bronco from Obama.

Note to banking:  Starting Jan 20, 2009 - There is no such thing as a free lunch!

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