“We are grateful for the government’s extraordinary efforts and are pleased to be able to return to the U.S. Treasury the funds that were invested in Goldman Sachs,” read a statement today from Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO of The Goldman Sachs Group.
U.S. Bancorp chief Richard Davis, in a release, even suggested the $6.6 billion in returned money from his bank could go to more federal stimulus efforts: "...further, the funds we are now returning to the U.S. Treasury can be used to support other economic recovery efforts.”
JPMorgan Chase's Jamie Dimon also thinks the repaid funds could be put to use by Uncle Sam and he's even feeling patriotic about the move. “Paying back TARP at this time is the right thing for JPMorgan Chase, and it’s the right thing for our country. We feel it’s best for our Government to be able to use these funds for other critical purposes.”
Small PR firms, like most small businesses, are feeling the credit crunch and economic slump, in some cases more directly than larger counterparts. Lou Hoffman, chief executive of the Hoffman Agency, a San Jose firm that did $10.1M in '08, told the Wall Street Journal today that he would welcome the opportunity to reduce his business's debt burden but doesn't see banks cooperating. "Banks won't make loans unless there's a recent track record of profitability." That, he adds, "rules out most small businesses (including us)."
Chrysler's former PR director, John Guiniven (1984-96), said the bailout of his former employer goes deeper than just the auto industry -- he says it's about America's willingness to devalue manufacturing as part of the economy and society. "We apparently no longer believe people who work with their hands are worth that much," he writes in the West Virginia Gazette. He also offers this warning: "We might also consider the possibility that a few generations from now, a weakened, indebted America could become a source of cheap labor for countries of the world to which we surrendered our manufacturing superiority."
Roy Miller of RGM Communications shared his frustration over a recent interaction with an unnamed PR video services provider. Bottom line: download your clips when you order them because they apparently won't be available for long.
"This is but a small thing we can do to thank our best friend and ally for all it has done for Palau."
— President Johnson Toribiong of Palau, on accepting 17 Chinese Muslims held at Guantanamo. The AP story mentions later (12th paragraph) that $200M is likely coming with them.
"When a person has in his mind to come to die, nobody can stop him."
— Pearl Continental Hotel spokesman Jamil Kharwar, following a bombing that killed 17 in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Wednesday.