Bailout Money Goes Missing
Without Representation, Without Accountability
After receiving billions in aid from U.S. taxpayers, the nation’s largest banks say they can’t track exactly how they’re spending the money or they simply refuse to discuss it.
“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.”
The Associated Press contacted 21 banks that received at least $1 billion in government money and asked four questions: How much has been spent? What was it spent on? How much is being held in savings, and what’s the plan for the rest?
None of the banks provided specific answers.
And you know what? They don’t have to provide answers. When the TARP bailout plan was passed it included “transparency and accountability” for the “troubled assets” Treasury would purchase. But Treasury didn’t purchase any “troubled assests”.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson changed the plan suddenly and instead started handing out billions to banks that were not all that troubled, asking them to start lending it out to consumers and businesses. So much for accountability. Angry yet?