TARP Capital Purchases Slow from Last Week
[Update 1 clarifies geographic locations of some TARP recipients.] The U.S. Treasury Department purchased just under $284.7 million in preferred stock from 22 banks and financial institutions in states across the country Friday. The government's funds were split relatively evenly between three publicly-traded companies that received 45 percent of the day's infusions, and 19 privately-held firms that took 55 percent of the day's capital, according to details released Tuesday by the Treasury. Friday's capital infusions through the Capital Purchase Program (CPP) favored Illinois with a $100 million infusion in Urbana-based First Busey Corp. (BUSE). Texas-based firms lagged in second, with two Houston-based companies and one Fort Worth-based firm taking a combined $34.5 million. Four Florida-based firms took a combined $24.1 million on Friday. Goff, Kan.-based Community Bancshares of Kansas Inc. now boasts the smallest daily infusion of $500,000, narrowly outdoing the Feb. 27 investment of $541,000 in Limerick, Pa.-based The Victory Bank. Friday's infusions came after the previous Friday's $394 million in capital injections. Then the Treasury on March 3 the $20 billion it had promised in late November as its share of the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility -- or TALF -- which is intended to support the issuance of new ABS backed by student loans, auto loans, credit card loans and small business loans, which in turn should -- if all goes as the Federal Reserve and the Treasury plan -- stimulate new lending in these areas. All told, the Treasury had as of Friday distributed $197.04 billion in capital infusions through the CPP and had distributed -- and promised -- a combined $326.82 billion through its various TARP programs, including the CPP, the Targeted Investment Program, the Systemically Significant Failing Institutions program, the Asset Guarantee Program and the TALF. Visit www.ustreas.gov for further details on the TARP. Stocks purchased through the CPP had lost something on the order of $112 billion in value as of early March, according to statistics released by business ethics think-tank Ethisphere Institute, which reports on the government's loss-on-investment based on the idea that as stocks of publicly-traded TARP fund recipients lose value, so too does the government -- and ultimately the taxpayer -- lose a portion of the investment. “Through the Index, Ethisphere hopes to encourage participating companies to promote transparency, accountability and ethical business practices related to the TARP funds,” officials said in a press statement regarding the index. Even after the major institutions that received TARP funds have slipped in stock value lately, the market rebounded on Citigroup Inc.'s (C) shares as of Tuesday when CEO Vikram Pandit said in an internal memo that although he was "disappointed" with Citi's recent stock prices, he saw a strong start in first-quarter business for the company and assured he is "most encouraged" that the bank may post its best quarter-to-date performance since the third quarter 2007. Write to Diana Golobay at email@example.com. Disclosure: The author held no relevant investment positions when this story was published. Indirect holdings may exist via mutual fund investments. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.