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More signs of easing of global financial cris -

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PETER CAVE: In another sign the global financial crisis may be easing, many big US banks have been
given the all clear to repay the billions of dollars they received in government bail-out money.

The US Treasury says that 10 of America's largest banks can repay a total of $85-billion.

The big corporations want the Government to take back their money and allow them to go back to
their old free market ways, without government intervention.

Among them is the News Corporation chief executive Rupert Murdoch, who says that President Obama's
interventionist policies are "dangerous".

Washington correspondent Michael Rowland reports.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: Many American banks were reluctant recipients of government assistance and for
months they've been almost begging the Treasury to take the money back.

Many bank boards have bristled at the various conditions attached to the taxpayer cash, in
particular, government oversight of executive salaries and bonus payments.

The Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner has now decided banking giants like JP Morgan and Morgan
Stanley are sturdy enough to return the money.

TIMOTHY GEITHNER: I think you have a financial system that is substantially stronger than it was
two, three, six, nine months ago, and is in a much better position to provide the credit necessary
to help us get through this recession and get back on a growth path again.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: The repayments will widen the gap between those banks deemed to be healthy and
those still on government life support.

But with many of the big banks rushing to repay the Government, calls are mounting in the US
Congress for an end to the taxpayer-funded rescue efforts.

Texas Republican Jeb Hensarling says the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, has put the US on
the slippery slope to socialism.

JEB HENSARLING: Well, I think it's time to terminate TARP. I think TARP has morphed into something
that it was not meant to be.

Originally it was passed to be an instrument of financial stability, of taxpayer protection. Now
all of a sudden it's being used to essentially purchase the largest automakers in the US.

I fear it is becoming an instrument of social, and political, and economic change for the
administration.

The American people are tired of bail-out mania.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: It's a view shared by News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch, who's fretting
about what he sees as Barack Obama's embrace of big government.

RUPERT MURDOCH: He's made no secret of that and I think that's dangerous.

We've done very well with, I believe, with low taxes and less government, if possible.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: Meanwhile the woman charged with overseeing the Government bail-out program fears
the financial shocks are far from over.

Elizabeth Warren wants the banks to undergo another round of so-called stress tests to determine
how they'd withstand a worsening US economy.

The last round of tests found 10 of America's biggest banks faced a $94-billion capital shortfall.

Ms Warren points out the tests were carried out on the assumption the US jobless rate would not
exceed 9 per cent.

It's just climbed to 9.4 per cent and could hit double digits by the end of the year.

ELIZABETH WARREN: We've already blown past the worst case scenario on unemployment.

That means it's time to rerun those numbers and find out if the stress test is strong enough to
give us a good prediction, and tell us that these financial institutions are solid, even if
unemployment is higher than the model predicted.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: And Ms Warren says any future balance sheet examinations should much more
transparent than the ones carried out in secret at the start of the year.

PETER CAVE: Our Washington correspondent Michael Rowland with that report.