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BANKS: How we spend taxpayers 350 billions is non of your business.

 
ExCaliBear
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12/22/2008 08:12 AM
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BANKS: How we spend taxpayers 350 billions is non of your business.
Where'd the Bailout Money Go? Shhhh, It's a Secret

WASHINGTON — It's something any bank would demand to know before handing out a loan: Where's the money going?

But after receiving billions in aid from U.S. taxpayers, the nation's largest banks say they either 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.

"We're not providing dollar-in, dollar-out tracking," said Barry Koling, a spokesman for Atlanta, Georgia-based SunTrust Banks Inc., which got $3.5 billion in taxpayer dollars.

Some banks said they simply didn't know where the money was going.

"We manage our capital in its aggregate," said Regions Financial Corp. spokesman Tim Deighton, who said the Birmingham, Alabama-based company is not tracking how it is spending the $3.5 billion it received as part of the financial bailout.

The answers highlight the secrecy surrounding the Troubled Assets 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.

There has been no accounting of how banks spend that money. Lawmakers summoned bank executives to Capitol Hill last month and implored them to lend the money — not to hoard it or spend it on corporate bonuses, junkets or to buy other banks. But there is no process in place to make sure that's happening and there are no consequences for banks who don't comply.

"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.

Pressured by the Bush administration to approve the money quickly, Congress attached nearly no strings on the $700 billion bailout in October. And the Treasury Department, which doles out the money, never asked banks how it would be spent.

"Those are legitimate questions that should have been asked on Day One," said Rep. Scott Garrett, a Republican House Financial Services Committee member who opposed the bailout as it was rushed through Congress. "Where is the money going to go to? How is it going to be spent? When are we going to get a record on it?"

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.

A few banks described company-specific programs, such as JPMorgan Chase's plan to lend $5 billion to nonprofit and health care companies next year. Richard Becker, senior vice president of Wisconsin-based Marshall & Ilsley Corp., said the $1.75 billion in bailout money allowed the bank to temporarily stop foreclosing on homes.

But no bank provided even the most basic accounting for the federal money.

"We're choosing not to disclose that," said Kevin Heine, spokesman for Bank of New York Mellon, which received about $3 billion.

Others said the money couldn't be tracked. Bob Denham, a spokesman for North Carolina-based BB&T Corp., said the bailout money "doesn't have its own bucket." But he said taxpayer money wasn't used in the bank's recent purchase of a Florida insurance company. Asked how he could be sure, since the money wasn't being tracked, Denham said the bank would have made that deal regardless.

Others, such as Morgan Stanley spokeswoman Carissa Ramirez, offered to discuss the matter with reporters on condition of anonymity. When AP refused, Ramirez sent an e-mail saying: "We are going to decline to comment on your story."

Most banks wouldn't say why they were keeping the details secret.

"We're not sharing any other details. We're just not at this time," said Wendy Walker, a spokeswoman for Dallas-based Comerica Inc., which received $2.25 billion from the government.

Heine, the New York Mellon Corp. spokesman, said he wouldn't discuss spending details, but added: "I just would prefer if you wouldn't say that we're not going to discuss those details."

The banks which came closest to answering the questions were those, such as U.S. Bancorp and Huntington Bancshares Inc., that only recently received the money and have yet to spend it. But neither provided anything more than a generic summary of how the money would be spent.

Lawmakers say they want to tighten restrictions on the remaining, yet-to-be-released $350 billion block of bailout money before any more cash is handed out. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the department is trying to step up its monitoring of bank spending.

"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.

Garrett, the New Jersey congressman, said the nation might never get a clear answer on where hundreds of billions of dollars went.

"A year or two ago, when we talked about spending $100 million for a bridge to nowhere, that was considered a scandal," he said.
[link to www.foxnews.com]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I must say, we deserve it.

pilot
"Discover your divinity, find your unique talent, serve humanity with it and you can generate all the wealth you want."
-Depak Chopra-


[link to thefountainofhealing.com]
Anonymous Coward
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12/22/2008 08:14 AM
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Re: BANKS: How we spend taxpayers 350 billions is non of your business.
And why should Gods be held accountable to their slaves.

worship worship worship worship Bankers
Anonymous Coward
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12/22/2008 08:15 AM
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Re: BANKS: How we spend taxpayers 350 billions is non of your business.
Pay no attention to the spellink errorz.
-Bank Management
ExCaliBear (OP)

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12/22/2008 02:03 PM
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Re: BANKS: How we spend taxpayers 350 billions is non of your business.
bump
"Discover your divinity, find your unique talent, serve humanity with it and you can generate all the wealth you want."
-Depak Chopra-


[link to thefountainofhealing.com]
idiot
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12/22/2008 02:05 PM
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Re: BANKS: How we spend taxpayers 350 billions is non of your business.
wake up people we are indeed slaves the bankers have swindled us all!


rant
ExCaliBear (OP)

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12/23/2008 02:19 PM
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Re: BANKS: How we spend taxpayers 350 billions is non of your business.
bump
"Discover your divinity, find your unique talent, serve humanity with it and you can generate all the wealth you want."
-Depak Chopra-


[link to thefountainofhealing.com]
Anonymous Coward
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12/23/2008 02:28 PM
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Re: BANKS: How we spend taxpayers 350 billions is non of your business.
bump
Anonymous Coward
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12/23/2008 02:45 PM
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Re: BANKS: How we spend taxpayers 350 billions is non of your business.
Multiply Bernie Madoff x 100 and there you have the US banking execs.
Spikegirl

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01/03/2009 12:56 PM
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Re: BANKS: How we spend taxpayers 350 billions is non of your business.
bump
“Are they called sand scripts because they were written on tablets of sand?”
(George Noory to Michael Cremo, referring to the Sanskrit language.)

"Why do they call it the Big Bang? Was it loud?"
George Noory to guest, Dr. Piccioni on 8/12/09's show.


"Do you think asteroids have a brain and know which side of the planet to crash into?"
(George Noory)


Everybody knows the war is over. Everybody knows the bad guys won.-Leonard Cohen

Send lawyers, guns and money. The shit has hit the fan.-Warren Zevon
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01/03/2009 01:13 PM
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Re: BANKS: How we spend taxpayers 350 billions is non of your business.
Thread: There Will Be A Major Announcement (Page 37)

cobra2411
User ID: 581669
1/3/2009 10:29 AM
Re: There Will Be A Major Announcement Quote

Time to throw more fuel on the fire...

I have a friend that is very well connected to the elite bankers and he was in Brazil with them a few weeks ago at some large meeting and he said they are in a panic.

Of note to this thread is that while they are panicked about Madoff and the fact that he wasn't alone and they don't know who to trust anymore, they believe there is something much larger coming.

I'm sure my friend has opinions, but the "report" he sent me after Brazil was very brief and he then went off to Europe till the 8th for vacation... So I'll have to wait to find out more.

I wasn't told a time or specifically what it was, just that the impact to the elite bankers will be much larger then Madoff. Or more specifically they fear the impact more.

He also said that they have accepted that the current banking / economic system is broken and can not be repaired and their M.O. now will be to loot as much as they can. That effort will be limited by the fact that they don't trust each other, so it's every man for himself.

Again, I can't say this is related or even what it is, just that there is something very big and it's about to surface... And the pigmen are scared to death about it...
Anonymous Coward
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01/03/2009 01:47 PM
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Re: BANKS: How we spend taxpayers 350 billions is non of your business.
the silent majority REMAIN silent.

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