TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Bill Radke: Citigroup has just announced a deal to repay the bailout money it got from the government. This comes just hours before a meeting at the White House between the president and the heads of the nation’s biggest banks.
Let’s bring in Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson, live from New York. Hi Jeremy.
Jeremy Hobson: Good morning, Bill.
Radke: Are these two events connected?
Hobson: They are, because as these big banks pay back their TARP money, the president loses a little bit of the grip that he has on them. Citi is gonna be the last of the big Wall Street banks to do so. So the president really wants to take advantage of this moment and tell the bank executivess that they’ve got a responsibility now to help him. And that means boosting lending to small businesses and also supporting his proposals for financial regulatory reform.
Radke: And are these bankers cool with that? Is this gonna be a tense meeting?
Hobson: Well, you know, some representatives of the banks are talking to the press anonymously and they are, they’re saying they’re going to stand up to the president today and tell him to stop oversimplifying their opposition to his reform proposals. But the president last night was on CBS’s 60 Minutes, he said this kind of pushback is proof that Wall Street bankers, in his words, still don’t get it.
President Barack Obama: You know you guys are drawing down $10 [million], $20 million bonuses after America went through the worst economic year that it’s gone through in decades. And you guys caused the problem, and we’ve got 10 percent unemployment. Why do you think people might be a little frustrated?
So some audible anger there, Bill, from the president in that interview ahead of today’s meeting.
Radke: Yes, thank you. Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson in New York, we appreciate it.
Hobson: Thank you.
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