Taking a Stand: Bank bailout

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - I understand that all of this government bailout money seems to be necessary.  But like many of you, it makes me uncomfortable.

So, I was very happy to hear this week that a local bank is one of the first in the nation to give back the Capital Purchase Program money.

Old National Bank is using the $100 million to buy back its preferred stock from the U.S. Treasury.

Many of you might not know that Old National entered the program as a "healthy bank," but soon found itself branded with the same suspicion as financial institutions making national headlines, like Merrill Lynch and AIG.

Bank President and CEO Bob Jones told me that they didn't really need the money and there were a lot of strings attached.  Strings that made it hard to support the local community.

So, when Old National wanted to get out, it had to prove it could withstand the stress.  And, it passed!

Our stand:  kudos to Old National.  It's great that the bank was in the position to give the money back. Managers will have to work harder during these tough times, but it gives us more confidence in their abilities.

To respond to this editorial, send an e-mail or call 812-253-0107.  You can send a letter to me at: Debbie Bush, WFIE-TV, and P.O. Box 1414, Evansville, IN 47701.