Cantwell Statement on News that the Treasury Department is Considering Taking Ownership Stakes in Some U.S. Banks

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) issued the following statement following reports that in an effort to restore confidence in the financial system and unfreeze credit markets, Treasury Department officials are considering injecting capital directly into U.S. banks in return for ownership stakes.
“While I remain supportive of leveraging the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government to try and avoid further financial meltdown, it's important that the Treasury Department's decision-making be based on a clear set of policies and principles. 
“The Treasury Department is reportedly now considering injecting capital directly into the financial system in return for ownership stake in participating banks.  I am pleased to see that the Treasury Department may now be moving in the direction I advocated because the equity stake model is better for American taxpayers than the troubled asset purchasing program that was the focus of Secretary Paulson’s plan.  The equity stake model does more to protect taxpayers and leverage additional private capital, which are essential to getting credit flowing again, and is less risky than buying up toxic financial assets. 
“Since the $700 billion financial rescue bill focused around the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), the Treasury Secretary must, at a minimum, report back to Congress on the design and structure of any proposed equity stake program.  We must continue to guarantee that there is transparency and full accountability in the way that the Treasury Department is carrying out its authority to address the financial crisis.  I call on Secretary Paulson to outline for Congress, the American people, and the world’s financial markets the steps they are pursuing to restore capital liquidity, protect U.S. home values, and safeguard taxpayers' hard-earned dollars.”
# # #