The U.S. government has frowned upon banks using TARP money for things such as corporate jet travel, junkets to Las Vegas, and out-sized salaries.
But it hasn’t said anything about using the money to buy full page ads in major newspapers to try to win back some love from the American public.
For example, Bank of America, which this week said it was selling most of its corporate jet fleet, has been peppering the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Financial Times with ads extollings its virtues for several days now.
On Thursday, for example, one of its ads proclaimed that “the foundation of this nation is its communities” before going on to brag about its ten-year $1.5 trillion community development initiative, and commitment to its goal of $2 billion in philanthropy over ten years, saying, “the renewed strength of this nation will come from deep within.”
The ad’s tag-line: “This is America. We keep moving forward.”
Other TARP recipients are also running advertisements.
JP Morgan, for example, has a recurring ad boasting it has lent $100 billion in the last quarter alone, apparently in response to criticism from the government banks are sitting on TARP money.