That’s a question that begs to be answered.

I’ll admit I supported the bailouts of Wall Street and the “Big Three” automakers, but now that the first 350 billion dollars of the 700 billion dollar Wall Street bailout has been spent by the government, I think it’s worth asking how all that taxpayer money was spent. The Associated Press thought that was a question worth asking as well. The Associated Press contacted 21 banks that received at least $1 billion in government money and asked four questions of each bank, and surprisingly – or unsurprisingly, given your level of cynicism – none one of the banks contacted answered the AP’s questions:

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.

Not only did none of the 21 banks contacted answer the AP’s questions, but Kevin Heine, spokesman for Bank of New York Mellon, which received about $3 billion in bailout money, said he wouldn’t share spending specifics before adding, “I just would prefer if you wouldn’t say that we’re not going to discuss those details.”

I’m sure the banks who received taxpayer bailouts would prefer not to have to account for the money they received, presumably because either they didn’t use the funds as they were intended or they simply cannot account for how they used the funds. Either possibility shows the stunning lack of oversight in the TARP program, leaving open the possibility that a portion of the 350 billion dollar bailout was used to line the pockets of the same executives who “led” so many of our nation’s financial institutions into the situations they found themselves in prior to their bailout.

 

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