Big banks may get green light to repay TARP funds as soon as today

Banks have been chomping at the bit waiting to repay their TARP funds and get the government off their backs. So far, the government has only allowed about 20 smaller banks to pay back the funds and get out from under its control. According to The Washington Post, however, it seems that other banks could get the good news that they will be allowed to repay their TARP funds as early as today.

J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM), Goldman Sachs (GS) and American Express (AXP) are three of the big banks that are expected to get the okay. While all three banks made application for permission to repay TARP last month, some wonder if this is more for show than an indication banks are ready to stand on their own. Banks can still tap cheap loans, debt guarantees and, of course, the biggest promise of all -- that big banks are too big to fail. So it's more like sending these banks out with training wheels than allowing them to fend for themselves.