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Morning Money Links: Obama mulls a fee on banks; here come the earnings reports; should Apple pay a dividend?

January 11, 2010 | 10:54 am

--- Making the banks, and their shareholders, pay: Politico reports that the Obama administration is considering imposing a fee on banks to recoup some of the cost of the TARP bailout program. Not on the table, apparently: a financial transactions tax.

--- Here comes corporate earnings season: And analysts, naturally, are optimistic.

--- Steve Jobs' hoarding problem: Brett Arends argues that it's high time for cash-rich Apple Inc. to start paying dividends to shareholders. The reader comments on this one are definitely worth a spin through.

--- Another one? Already? The Economist magazine issues a "Bubble Warning" for global markets, saying they're "too dependent on unsustainable government stimulus." But the magazine also concedes that some classic bubble symptoms are missing, particularly "an outbreak of public enthusiasm" for financial assets. Apparently, the record flow of cash into bond mutual funds last year wasn't enthusiastic enough.

--- Sen. Dodd’s financiers: In the wake of the decision by the Connecticut Democrat (and chairman of the Senate Banking Committee) to retire this year, the Center for Public Integrity lists the 10 special interests that have donated the most to his campaigns since 1980.

-- Tom Petruno