American Express Becomes A Bank… And Wants Bailout Money

American Express Becomes A Bank… And Wants Bailout Money

American Express won U.S. Federal Reserve approval to become a bank holding company — giving it access to the bailout party as credit card defaults climb. Bloomberg News says that the Fed waived the usual 30 day waiting period because (in the words of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke) we’re experiencing “unusual and exigent circumstances affecting the financial markets.” Today, American Express has requested $3.5 billion in taxpayer-funded capital from the federal government, says the WSJ.