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January 14, 2010    

Obama pledges to recoup losses for American taxpayers

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by Kay Murchie
Obama pledges to recoup losses for American taxpayers

US President Barack Obama has pledged to repay taxpayers the losses they are owed from bailing out the banks as he criticised bankers for the “massive profits and obscene bonuses.”

The President said: “My commitment is to recover every single dime the American people are owed.

“My determination to achieve this goal is only heightened when I see reports of massive profits and obscene bonuses at the very firms who owe their continued existence to the American people,” Mr Obama added.

The losses arose from a $700 billion taxpayer bailout of US banks called the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

As part of the President’s commitment to recover the losses, the country’s 50 largest banks and financial institutions will face a new levy on their assets for at least a decade in order to recoup the estimated $90 billion (£55.3 billion) of taxpayer money.

According to a source close to the situation, the levy will become payable at the end of June but will only apply to financial institutions with over $50 billion in assets.

His televised statement was delivered prior to the latest reporting season on Wall Street, with banks predicting to announce record bonuses.

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