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Banks are supposed to lend money, and when they stop – as they have in recent
months – the workings of our entire economy are threatened. Credit became so
frozen, the government had to step in this past week and take an ownership stake
in the country’s biggest banks.
On Monday Treasury Secretary Henry
Paulson summoned the CEOs of the nine largest banks to Washington – and gave
them a massive amount of money so they would start lending again.
largest of the banks is Bank of America (B of A) – now partly owned by the
United States of America.
The head of Bank of America, Ken Lewis, says
that when he and the others met at the Treasury Department, it became clear that
Secretary Paulson’s "offer" was an ultimatum – no negotiations.
other words, take it or leave it?" correspondent Lesley Stahl asked.
"Right. Right, right."
The Bank Of America
The CEO Of The Nation’s Largest Bank Talks About Treasury’s Plans For Buying Into Financial Firms
60 Minutes, Oct. 19, 2008