Banks use TARP money to buy U.S. bonds


Here's a good one: Banks that are receiving TARP money are using a portion of that cash to step up the purchases of Treasuries -- which in turn is helping hold down interest rates. Bank holdings of government securities are up 15.6 percent from a year ago.

Bloomberg sums it up this way: "U.S. lenders bailed out by the government are returning the favor by stepping up purchases of Treasuries, helping to temper a rise in borrowing costs."