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Elizabeth Warren: Where'd the two trillion go, Hank?

If you're inclined, send Elizabeth Warren an attagirl email. ewarren at law dot harvard dot edu

Where'd the bailout money go? Shhhh, it's a secret

You know all that money we gave the damn banks? Well, be grateful they took it and now go away.

Think you could borrow money from a bank without saying what you were going to do with it? Well, apparently when banks borrow from you they don't feel the same need to say how the money is spent...

"It is entirely appropriate for the American people to know how their taxpayer dollars are being spent in private industry," said Elizabeth Warren, the top congressional watchdog overseeing the financial bailout...

But, at least for now, there's no way for taxpayers to find that out...

"What we've been doing here is moving, I think, with lightning speed to put necessary programs in place, to develop them, implement them, and then we need to monitor them while we're doing this," Paulson said at a recent forum in New York. "So we're building this organization as we're going."

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.

But Warren said she's surprised she even has to ask.

"If the appropriate restrictions were put on the money to begin with, if the appropriate transparency was in place, then we wouldn't be in a position where you're trying to call every recipient and get the basic information that should already be in public documents," she said.

Keep at 'em, Professor.

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Submitted by lambert on

AP:

"We're choosing not to disclose that," said Kevin Heine, spokesman for Bank of New York Mellon, which received about $3 billion. ... "We have not disclosed that to the public. We're declining to," [Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chas] said. ... "We're not providing dollar-in, dollar-out tracking," said Barry Koling, a spokesman for Atlanta, Ga.-based SunTrust Banks Inc ... "We manage our [sic] capital in its aggregate," said Regions Financial Corp. spokesman Tim Deighton .... Bob Denham, a spokesman for North Carolina-based BB&T Corp., said the bailout money "doesn't have its own bucket." ... "We're not sharing any other details. We're just not at this time," said Wendy Walker, a spokeswoman for Dallas-based Comerica Inc. ... Heine, the New York Mellon Corp. spokesman who said he wouldn't share spending specifics, added: "I just would prefer if you wouldn't say that we're not going to discuss those details."

They're all Bartleby the Scrivener types, eh? "I prefer not to."

Leading to the not unnatural suspicion that TARP is nothing but a humongous slush fund for Hank Paulson's golfing buddies. That's how the Bush administration managed [cough] the Iraq budget, after all. Just an orgy of looting, while Democrats "like to watch."

The vacancy and irrelevance of our famously free press -- and that includes most of the blogosphere, and especially the poltical blogosphere -- has never been more clear than in their non-coverage of this story. What's done with the two trillion is going to affect every single policy decision made, and all we get isn't even La la la I can't hear you, but silence. It's stunning. Or would be stunning if it weren't so completely predictable.

Submitted by ohio on

"Where's my money?" / "Look up there! An angel!" quickly followed by the pitter-patter of little banker feet running away.

We need to start a bank. The Bank of Bartleby.

Wow, our list of entrepenurial adventures is getting very long.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Yesterday morning(reporting secondhand from what my fiance told me), that one banks CEOs got bonuses, that totalled half the amount owed by people facing foreclosures. Instead of stalling those forclosures, CEOs got bonuses.

I'm not a big fan of degradation, but I could really go for some tarring and feathering of these scumbags.