Friday, December 26, 2008

Bailouts Without Strings or Oversight

From an editorial in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin:

Through the blind generosity of Congress and the Bush administration, some of the nation's largest banks have been bestowed with billions of dollars from taxpayers. So is it too much to ask banks for an accounting of how such largesse is being used?

Yes, says an Associated Press survey of 21 banks that received at least $1 billion in federal money.

The AP reports that not a single bank would provide specific answers. What's worse is that they don't have to. There is no process to compel the banks to disclose how they're spending the money.

A congressional oversight panel can't get the administration or Treasury Department officials to explain what it's doing or its strategy in giving out the nearly $350 billion released so far for the program...