WASHINGTON — Targeting an industry whose political deafness has vexed his administration, President Barack Obama is weighing recovering tax dollars from government-rescued financial institutions with a levy.
The proposed levy could put Obama on the popular side of public opinion that is decidedly against Wall Street and angry over shortfalls in a $700 billion bank bailout fund.
A senior administration official said Monday that Obama would seek modifications to the law that sent billions in bailout money in 2008 and 2009 to a flailing Wall Street that was approaching collapse. The government official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the president's thinking.
One has to wonder whether Goldman Sachs and Lloyd Blankfein are finally having their come-to-Jesus moment today. It seems an awful lot like the Obama administration is seriously considering going after bailout monies given out last year, almost certainly involving counterparty payments made to banks like Goldman via the AIG bailout.
I have more on this coming out later, but from where I sit this wouldn’t be happening if Blankfein and people like him hadn’t put Obama on the spot politically by babbling to reporters about how they’re doing “God’s work” and that sort of thing. Instead of acting contrite, these guys asked us all to take a big bite of blow-me sandwich. How’s that working out now, fellas?
One wonders sometimes what goes through the mind of people like this.