Blame Game

TARP Exits Spoiled by Disagreements

The transition of Citigroup and Wells Fargo & Co. out of the federal bailout program this week has been anything but smooth, with bank officials blaming the Treasury Department for a series of difficulties in the process and a decline in share value. As the Treasury tries to determine a timeline for the companies to pay back federal bailout money, executives and officials have butted heads over how much money each company must raise in order to leave TARP, an argument that intensified this week when Citigroup ran into problems selling its $17 billion in stock and the Treasury had to freeze a plan to sell down its stake in the company. Citigroup higher-ups reportedly blame the government for poor timing and have complained that selling shares from Wells Fargo and Citigroup at the same time will lower demand for their company’s shares.