Highway Robbery, Wall Street Style

There is no amount of words possible to even begin describing this situation. The jaw dropping arrogance displayed by the banks and financial institutions is definitely one for the books. The AP approached 21 financial firms, which received bailout money, and asked for accountability on how the money was being spent. Some of the responses from these institutions range from outrageous to flat out apathetic. If this doesn’t anger you, then I don't know what will.

From the AP,

JP Morgan Chase,
AP-"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."
Ga.-based SunTrust Banks Inc,
AP-"We're not providing dollar-in, dollar-out tracking," said Barry Koling, a spokesman for Atlanta, Ga.-based SunTrust Banks Inc., which got $3.5 billion in taxpayer dollars.
Regions Financial Corp,
AP-"We manage our capital in its aggregate," said Regions Financial Corp. spokesman Tim Deighton, who said the Birmingham, Ala.-based company is not tracking how it is spending the $3.5 billion it received as part of the financial bailout.
Not one bank provided exact information on how the money they received, from you and I, is being spent, lent, or held onto. The oddest part was the push by Congress and the White House to obtain this money without any type of regulation or stipulation being put on it.

The money from the TARP was provided for one reason and one reason only; to free up credit so businesses could start borrowing again, thereby alleviating the credit crunch. Well, that has yet to transpire, and all we have for our trouble are Banks hording money while the economic system further deteriorates.

Only furthering frustration, many of the top execs, whose companies are receiving government assistance, had spent $1.6 billion on bonuses and compensations last year.

From the AP,
AP-Banks that are getting taxpayer bailouts awarded their top executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses, and other benefits last year, an Associated Press analysis reveals.read more...

While Congress is calling for stiffer regulation and oversight before the rest of the TARP fund is to be released. The main question is, "Why didn’t they do this in the first place?" With the lack of transparency on Wall Street being one of the contributing factors to the subrpime bust, when did Congress ever get the idea that these banks and financial institutions could be trusted? Of course, whoever said Congress could be trusted? None of them need their hands held, they need them tied in front of them so they can watched.

Here is a list, via Pro Publica, of institutions who have received TARP money and how much. It should be regularly updated as more information becomes available.

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