Capital infusions into selected banks and thrifts, from the $250 billion set aside under the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, create the responsibility for the Treasury and federal bank and thrift regulatory agencies to choose numerous "winners" and "losers" from among the nation's more than 8,300 FDIC-insured institutions.

In addition to burdening the U.S. taxpayer with an enormous expense, the process forces institutions that are already well capitalized and do not want such assistance to carry the stigma of perhaps being deemed unworthy of a government investment.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.