Ah, the joys of discovery on the Internet! Talking Points Memo linked to a cool map at ProPublica.org that shows where the Troubled Asset Relief Program funds (you know, the bailout money for silly bankers) have gone so far. I clicked on the full-size map, then clicked on the one little dot, all alone on the prairie, sitting on Sioux Falls. Up popped a little info balloon: "HF Financial Corp in Sioux Falls, SD. $0.025 billion."
When you put it that way, $25 million seems so small.
I checked Pro Publica's list of bailed-out institutions and found the press release from HF Financial and Home Federal Bank of Sioux Falls. Home Federal—hey! They own my mortgage!
...which I guess the infusion of my tax dollars means I now own my mortgage. Surely this means I get to skip a payment, right? Remind me to propose that at the next stockholder's meeting... since I'm now a Home Federal stockholder, just like you!
HF/Home Federal got preliminary approval on October 27, then got its board's approval and issued the press release on November 21:
"HF Financial Corp. and Home Federal Bank are pleased to be one of the first in our region to participate in this voluntary program," said Curtis L. Hage, Chairman, President and CEO of HF Financial Corp. Hage continued, "In addition to our currently well capitalized position, this new equity will serve to increase our capacity to lend and enhance our already strong support of economic activity and development in the communities we serve. This is a very prudent means to execute upon our strategic business plan and we believe it adds value to our shareholders, customers, future customers and the communities and region we serve."
- "Pleased to be one of the first in our region...." Since when is anyone pleased to be the first person in the neighborhood to get a welfare check?
- "...our currently well capitalized position...." Hold on. I thought we were bailing out banks that were in trouble. Why are we handing money to companies that showed nearly 50% increase in earnings per share?
"HF Financial Corp. and Home Federal Bank are well-capitalized, but we are also in agreement with the Treasury Department that this additional capital can help stimulate the economic growth our nation now so vitally needs," said Hage. "In approving our participation in this program, which has been extended to viable banks such as ours, we believe we can increase our lending activities in the economically stable markets we serve" [emphasis mine, baloney all Hage's].
Hilarious. I have plenty of capital. I'm perfectly viable. I serve a stable market. Hand me some bailout money!
Or, as I suggested above, just let me skip a couple mortgage payments... to myself.