Not a penny more

The government should not feel obliged to rescue banks that failed the stress tests.

WeâÄôve tried propping them up and bailing them out, and now, for the first time, weâÄôre going to get a clear picture what it was for. Today, results of the âÄústress testsâÄù on the nationâÄôs largest banks will be made public, but it will only elaborate on the details that came out yesterday. The bad news: Banks need more money. The good news: We donâÄôt have to give it âÄî and shouldnâÄôt. According to WednesdayâÄôs preliminary results, Bank of America will need to acquire a further $35 billion in capital, Wells Fargo will need $15 billion and Citigroup will need $50 billion ItâÄôs worth noting that these banks have already received $45 billion, $25 billion and $45 billion in bailout money, respectively. Other institutions like JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, American Express and Regions Financial âÄî all bailout recipients âÄî âÄúpassedâÄù the stress test and will not require additional capital. For banks that passed the test, no changes are needed, but those that failed will be obliged to raise the needed capital within six months or be force-fed federal aid. The government, however, should not offer anything to the banks when we reach that deadline because it needlessly beggars us further into debt. While sympathizers may paint the undercapitalized banks as a kind of financial Oliver Twist begging the government for just a pittance more, in reality, the taxpayers are being asked to pick up dessert for the gluttonous, bacchanalian dinner for which weâÄôve already paid. The goal of any bailout has been to stabilize the financial sector âÄî not to make sure every bank weathers the crisis and comes out a winner. Based on the results of this test, weâÄôve kept our financial heart beating, and if Bank of America and its ilk want to survive, they ought to be on their own from here on out. Our work is done.