Well, it's trying to. The bank I put my non-shiny currency in, TCF Bank, has filed paperwork to give its $361 million of bailout money back to the Imperial Federal Government. It's hard to imagine a libertarian advocating giving money to the government, but the executives at TCF know it is wrong for them to have it, and, hopefully, this will contribute to lower deficit spending and more money in the pockets of taxpayers in the near future.
The short video below contains several quotable nuggets from Bill Cooper, the chairman and CEO of TCF Financial:
TCF never really needed the money in the first place. The regulators suggested that we take it, and strongly suggested. ... And subsequently, the deal has kind of changed in connection with the regulations and so forth, the rules they want to apply to companies that take the TARP money, and there's a lot of reasons why it doesn't work for us. ...We don't need those additional rules and regulations.... We never did any of the sub-prime lending or all the other kind of things that people do, we have 50 consecutive quarters of regular earnings.
Three important things to get from this interview with a real banking executive who can speak from a businessman's personal experience:
1. If you run your bank intelligently, you have a very good chance of succeeding and earning profits consistently.
2. It sounds more like TCF took the funds only somewhat reluctantly, and is only giving them back now that the conditions from the government have changed. Not so noble, but they wouldn't have taken it unless it was "strongly suggested" that they do, so I'm proud of them. They are an example of how you can shun a little bit of Statism even though the State is pervasive in our lives.
3. The "regulators" from the government were already heavily involved in the daily operations of banks, and now that it is directly supporting banks by giving them money, it naturally wants even more of a say in what they do, when they do it, and how they do it. Banks, hospitals, and other businesses will not be nationalized by one stroke of the pen from the Savior of America (de jure nationalization); it will be de facto nationalization, gradually. Bank bailouts constitute another huge and important step towards their becoming socialized arms of the government, nationalized in fact if not in name. This is not capitalism, it is socialism or fascism: privatized gains, socialized losses.
Hat tip: Briggs Armstrong