The Federal Dilemma

Here's why it will be difficult for the Obama Administration to get banks to boost lending

Toxic Assets

Banks' books are still filled with troubled loans. Citi CEO Vikram Pandit wants to offload some $182 billion in risky assets.

Capital Needs

Regulators are pushing banks to maintain a big cushion to protect against losses, money they might otherwise use to make fresh loans.

Limited Power

With the big banks paying back TARP funds, the U.S. doesn't have the same leverage to influence strategy.

Data: Bloomberg BusinessWeek

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