FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
TARP accountability? None, apparently.
According to this morning’s news, banks are refusing to reveal what’s being done with the money that was provided under the $350B (so far) TARP bailout money.
“We’ve lent some of it. We’ve not lent some of it. We’ve not given any accounting of, ‘Here’s how we’re doing it,’” said Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chase, which received $25 billion in emergency bailout money. “We have not disclosed that to the public. We’re declining to.”
“We’re declining to” Well, there’s a fine “how do you do”. The taxpayer bails these folks out, but they apparently don’t see fit to reveal where OUR money is being spent. The hubris of these corporations is astonishing.
Apparently, the strategy behind TARP is/was “pay and pray”
The answers highlight the secrecy surrounding the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which earmarked $700 billion – about the size of the Netherlands’ economy – to help rescue the financial industry. The Treasury Department has been using the money to buy stock in U.S. banks, hoping that the sudden inflow of cash will get banks to start lending money.
Nearly every bank AP questioned – including Citibank and Bank of America, two of the largest recipients of bailout money – responded with generic public relations statements explaining that the money was being used to strengthen balance sheets and continue making loans to ease the credit crisis.
Upset yet? I am.
Warren, the congressional watchdog appointed by Democrats, said her oversight panel will try to force the banks to say where they’ve spent the money.
“It would take a lot of nerve not to give answers,” she said.
Apparently these institutions HAVE a lot of nerve. About $350B worth.
This morning’s diary from Francis regarding the GM bailout should have been enough to raise the ire of any taxpayer who doesn’t want to see their tax money spent without representation (tea party, anyone?). After all, the Big 3 bailout was NOT passed by Congress, yet our lame-duck President has decided that he knows best and has pushed it through nonetheless. Now the financial institutions who have received funds under the original program refuse to be accountable as well. In this morning’s thread, Francis mentions there are a lot of ordinary people out there who are mad as hell about this bailout.. There should be. And they should be howling about it.
I’m not one for putting letter-writing campaigns on the front page, so I will simply say: if you, like me, are upset about this lack of accountability on how your money is being spent, please contact your congressperson and let them know. As Francis said: “that’s what this website is all about.” Look ‘em up on house.gov and call, write, or whatever. Tell them what you think.