2008_11_amex.jpgCredit card company American Express was approved to be a bank holding company, allowing it to access government funds, yesterday. The Federal Reserver released a statement saying it waived the usual 30-day waiting period due to "the unusual and exigent circumstances affecting the financial markets." AmEx said it's taking almost twice as long for credit-card holders to repay loans--D.A. Davidson & Co.'s chief market strategist Frederic Dickson told Bloomberg News, "That business has totally dried up. If I were a shareholder, it wouldn't send a very warm and fuzzy message to me." AmEx, which recently announced it would cut 10% of its workforce (equaling about 7,000 jobs), joins Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as companies who recently became bank holding companies.