PlainsCapital Bank Took $87.6 Million in TARP Money. Now ... It's Payback Time! Or Not.

On December 23, Dallas-based PlainsCapital Bank received a mighty generous Christmas present from the Treasury Department: $87.6 million in bailout bucks, which seemed like a lot given that PlainsCapital isn't publicly traded and didn't even need the money to stay afloat. (The feds gave Alan White the long green to stimulate lending.) Worth a mention this morning because PlainsCapital's starting to get some attention this week for wrapping itself in the TARP.

Yesterday, the Star-Telegram mentioned how a few area competitors are ganging up on White and his bank for taking a government handout -- a "bailout," actually, which it really wasn't, since PlainsCapital didn't technically need the dough. "They're running ads and throwing rocks and throwing mud," he told the paper. And today, the Associated Press notes that PlainsCapital is among those banks that could wriggle out of President Obama's salary cap imposed upon banks that took the government's money. Why? Because PlainsCapital "received money from the governmental program that provides capital to healthy banks to increase lending ... and [has] not accepted 'exceptional assistance' and would not be subject to the pay caps." Nowhere do these stories say how PlainsCapital has spent the money. Oh, wait ...  But, at least, Victory Park's getting a new tenant.