Goldman-Sachs, for example, wants to buy back its freedom, as do many banks. Even AIG is selling off assets to dig its way out from under federal control. The reason, of course, is that company executives do not like the restrictions on executive pay and compensation that come with TARP money. It is for this reason that Chrysler Motors refused TARP funds.
With bank profits up and financial institutions trying to give back their money, there is no need for the conversion of the government stock from preferred to common -- except to advance the political socialist agenda of this administration.
Meanwhile, to keep its leverage over the economy intact, the Obama administration is refusing to let banks and other companies give back the TARP money until they pass a financial "stress test."
Nominally, the government justifies this procedure by saying that it does not want companies to become fully private prematurely and then need more help later on. But don't believe it. They want to keep the TARP money in the banks so they can have a reason and rationale to control them.
The Times story did not influence the dialogue of the day. People were much more concerned with the death of 21 horses at a polo match. Much as we will miss these noble animals, we will miss our economic freedom more.