Banks Making Off Like Thieves in Bailout

By Kenneth J. Theisen

Imagine going to a bank and asking for a few billion dollars. When the banker asks what you are going to do with it, you tell him to go screw himself. He then gives you the money anyway. Yes, that is hard to imagine. But if you are the bank, and the institution giving you the bucks is Congress, it is perfectly plausible. 


A recent article written by the Associated Press (AP) indicates that the tax payers were given the royal screwing by the banks. (original story here)
The AP contacted 21 banks that were beneficiaries of the recent government bailout. Each of the banks received at least $1 billion from our taxpayer dollars. Four questions were asked and the answers, in effect, were “go screw yourself.” The questions were, “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?


Here are a few of the answers given to the AP reporters, according to the article:

"We're choosing not to disclose that," said Kevin Heine for Bank of New York Mellon. His bank received $3 billion. Heine also said, "I just would prefer if you wouldn't say that we're not going to discuss those details." He wanted to be quiet about being quiet.

Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chase told the reporters, “We have not disclosed that to the public. We're declining to." But then why should he tell the taxpayers how the $25 billion his bank got was used?
Barry Koling, speaking for SunTrust Banks Inc., which got $3.5 billion stated, "We're not providing dollar-in, dollar-out tracking."
Morgan Stanley spokeswoman Carissa Ramirez said, "We are going to decline to comment on your story."
According to Wendy Walker, a spokeswoman for Comerica Inc., "We're not sharing any other details. We're just not at this time." Her financial institution received $2.25 billion from us.
The billions given to the banks came from the aptly named “Troubled Asset Relief Program.” In theory. the banks were to use the cash to start lending money. From the answers given to the AP it is not clear that the banks did what they were expected to by Congress. But then. what do you expect from the same people who got the country into the financial crisis in the first place? What are the banks afraid to say or let the public know? If they are lending out the money, what is the problem with saying so?
Postscript: Today’s New York Times reported that Obama’s advisors say they expect up to four million jobs to be lost in this country next year.


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