03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

After TARP Repayments, Banks Are Now 'Free To Fail Again': Steven Pearlstein

As far as I can tell, top administration officials are fixated on voter rage over bank bailouts and the resulting hit to the president's poll ratings. So they're looking for any way to show that the economy is improving and that the government will not only get its bailout money back, but earn a profit besides.

By rushing to cash in their chips, however, the administration not only gave up political leverage and additional profit, but took the risk that one or more of the banks may find that it can't make it on its own.