February 11th, 2009
12:26 PM ET
9 years ago

Bank CEOs flogged in Washington

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Top executives from eight of the nation's largest financial institutions told Congress Wednesday that they are continuing to lend, even as banks have come under severe scrutiny in recent weeks about their use of billions of dollars in government aid.

But skeptical legislators weren't buying it.

At a closely-watched hearing before the House Financial Services Committee, CEOs from such embattled firms as Citigroup and Bank of America defended their actions since taking hold of $165 billion last fall, adding that without government assistance, credit would be even harder to obtain.

"We are still lending, and we are lending far more because of the TARP program," Bank of America Chairman and CEO Ken Lewis said in his prepared remarks.

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Filed under: Congress • TARP
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Jimmy Crackhorns

    This is the biggest bank heist in history. They talk about credit as if credit dried up. I haven't seen it...where has credit dried up?? There's more easy money now than 2 years ago, it's CHEAPER!!!

    We have transfered some 4 trillion in US credit to China...and they can't buy anything because they make everything, then we sent another couple trillion to the Saudies.....there's no shortage of credit but I sure don't know what Americans will make to sell them to get that money recirculated in our own economy. Sell China 3 million homes and have them ship over 10 million Chinese to become citizens...I'd say Mexico but Mexico is broke and they come here anyways....America could use an infusion of Chinese restaurants!!!

    February 11, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |

    The CEOs need to get whipped with a belt.


    February 11, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. Bob

    Didn't we do the same thing to the oil company CEOs? The CEOs said prices are high due to supply and demand – basic economics. Then oil prices drop but no one is praising the CEOs for prices dropping, we say it's the economy. We'll here is a news flash – it's the economy! Americans created a credit bubble and it burst. We were fat, dumb, and happy for many years then when the curve reached the downward slope panic ensued. No one saved during the good times because we were too busy buying on credit. The economy will recover but it will take time, even the savior says this will take time. The people who will swing the pendulum are the CEOs, big business, and the rich, people with money to invest in America. Stop bashing them and let them invest. In this case their love of money is a good thing. Giving billions of dollars to the unemployed does not create jobs.

    February 11, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. Sara from Arizona

    Grand theft of the taxpayer.

    February 11, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. David

    They should be flogged in public for real. But not just them but the other ones that are creating this charade like the Rothchilds, Rockefellers, Kissinger, Bernanke, etc. Anyone in the CFR, Trilater and Bilderbergs societies, too.

    February 11, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  6. Spirit of America

    Jail 'em

    February 11, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. daniel cabrera

    I do not mean to sound sardonic but it looks like Obama and his gang seems to be almost at border of desperation, willing to push or infuse this so called stimulus to the taxpayers even by means of rectal lavatory procedure (enema).

    God only knows,…if they were bold enough to go the extremes to fraudulently win the elections,(remember ACORN among other things?)…perhaps they are willing to do others things too.Actually nothing takes me for surprise.

    Please , nobody gets agitated , is just,…. a ‘light scapade’…just like the tax cheating,…a 'small overlook', right?.

    Daniel Cabrera
    Merrillville, Indiana

    February 11, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  8. Pete from WA

    Who cares if the banksters are getting flogged? That's just a useless display hoping to make we the citizen feel better about the fact that the very CEO's being flogged are getting all our tax dollars and we are losing jobs, homes and our very rights.


    February 11, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. David

    greed is not good- you are exactly right. Paulson did what he wanted and helped his Wall Street buddies out. It was the biggest heist of all time. Now we have Geihner but the problem here is that he is cut from the same cloth.

    February 11, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  10. gleason

    they are lending my foot; to who? its apparent that these bankers are like the fox guarding the hen house. and the people in the congress on the banking committee are just going through the motions. when do you account for the first half of that tarp money? they can't because it went out the front door and right back through the backdoor. another ponzi scheme.

    February 11, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. gleason

    they are lending my foot; to who? its apparent that these bankers are like the fox guarding the hen house. and the people in the congress on the banking committee are just going through the motions. when do you account for the first half of that tarp money? they can't because it went out the front door and right back through the backdoor. another ponzi scheme.

    February 11, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. Debbie

    May I please get a TARP check. I am so tired of these idiots giving these other idiots money

    February 11, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Flogged? Not from the little bit I watched in which the politicos talked and talked and talked and then asked stupid questions like "When did you know the economy was bad?"

    What does THAT have to do with the misuse of bailout money?

    February 11, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  14. ml - California

    These Financial Institution CEO's are liars, cheats and greedy. They should be jailed. No amount of words, trying to "wiggle" out of their mistakes, is going to convince the American people, that they are are on the "up and up".

    February 11, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. TDsing

    Ha! Still lending... then why did BoA reduce my credit limit on my personal and small business accounts...and said "not now" to refinancing my home! I have made consistent, on-time payments. Load of crap I say!!!

    February 11, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. obama-mama

    Is Barney Frank not wearing dentures? That should be part of the dress code. Wear teeth at all times.

    February 11, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  17. jaye

    Bush gave them the money without strings and they evidently had a field day with it.

    February 11, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. Jim

    CNN needs to get a new news crew. Any flogging will be done by the bank pres's themselves. With Blarney Frank leading the way, I am sure there was more kissing up than flogging. How can you flog someone when they own you.

    February 11, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  19. Matthew, Detroit

    Barney Frank needs to call himself on the carpet.

    He made the decisions, he refused to regulate, he gave poor people loans that could not afford them.

    February 11, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  20. Rick Sutter

    The world would be such a wonderful place if only there were no wealthy people.

    February 11, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  21. Rorschach

    @Ray Ray February 11th, 2009 1:14 pm ET who wrote...

    "Perhaps if a Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and others directly responsible for the housing crisis were flogged along with the bankers… a better message would be sent to those pushing the current Pork-ulus Bill."

    Your information is incorrect. And, since Limbaugh smugly coined the term "Porkulus" last week, it's obvious where you get your bogus information. Kool-Aid, anyone?

    February 11, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  22. williefloyd

    Hillary would have fixed this already???like she "fixed" her campaign debt?? That's about as believable as these lenders saying they're lending again-I still think they should be made to PROVE it-documents, interviews with borrowers, etc.

    February 11, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. Paul

    Taken a dollar for a year form a multimillionaire is a joke. I would work at a fast food joint if I was a multimllionaire. Why don't they take thier bonuses and pay for the poeples bad home loans that they made.

    February 11, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  24. DIZIZI31

    Lies.. Lies.. and more lies... Citibank (Home Depot) credit card recently reduced my credit limit.

    TARP only helped the bank not the consumer.

    February 11, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. Same Here

    Amen to TDsing! My good credit is also being attacked by the banking thieves. There are many people who pay on time and work hard to maintain high credit ratings, but for what? Now, we are all "bad credit risks." I wish there was some way to retaliate against the banking industry.

    February 11, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
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