March 31st, 2009
01:20 PM ET
6 years ago

Bailout watchdogs: We want more info

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The officials were particularly angered about a lack of accounting for the sprawling program, complaining that Treasury didn't make any effort to monitor money that went to the 364 banks its has invested in, despite requests for information by oversight panels.
The officials were particularly angered about a lack of accounting for the sprawling program, complaining that Treasury didn't make any effort to monitor money that went to the 364 banks its has invested in, despite requests for information by oversight panels.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - The officials charged with overseeing the $700 billion financial bailout told lawmakers Tuesday that the Treasury Department must do more to ensure that taxpayer dollars are properly spent and that the public is kept in the loop.

The officials were particularly angered about a lack of accounting for the sprawling program, complaining that Treasury didn't make any effort to monitor money that went to the 364 banks its has invested in, despite requests for information by oversight panels.

"Either you get Treasury to get some religion on this point and get some standards ... or Congress [will be] forced to step in," said Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren, chairman of the Congressional Oversight Panel, at a Senate Banking Committee hearing.

The office of Inspector General for the TARP program, one of the oversight groups, did its own survey of banks that received money, and every bank that got money responded.

Neil Barofsky, special inspector general, said that some banks "co-mingled" their bailout money and couldn't break out exactly what it was used for. But other banks kept their TARP money separate and could point to new loans that had been issued due to government help.

"Some banks described some lending programs that couldn't be done without TARP funding," Barofsky said.

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Filed under: Treasury Department
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    It looks like the oversight is in place. If the problem is with the Treasury Dept., some action needs to be taken. Transparency is what was missing with the first 350 billion. Now that it's in place, we can correct the problem.

    March 31, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. yuri

    Give them more scoop on the bail out plan. We need to know, too, of the tax payers' moneys are bein' spent, rationally or irrationally. Let somebody do the enlightenin'.

    March 31, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. Mississippi Mike

    For all of Obama's promises about transparency, we still don't know how much money went to which institutions and the criteria for deciding who got what. We also don't know how the money was spent by the banks. Does anyone else have a problem with this wasteful transfer of wealth?

    March 31, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    The first principle of government of the people, by the people, and for the people, is never tell the people. What you don't know can't hurt the idiots who pass the laws.

    March 31, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. David

    You won't get it! This is the biggest heist in history.

    March 31, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  6. Freed_From_W

    The US Treasury hasn't had control of our economy since 1918. You want a stable economy without having to constantly blow up other countries? – abolish the Fed. It's not part of our government anyhow...

    No one's going to be held accountable for this – the richest people are also those who write the books. God bless American plutocracy.

    March 31, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. Pee Wee

    Odd, isn't it, that the chair of the Oversight Panel is complaining that there is a lack of oversight. Who's bailiwick is that Madam, chairwoman?

    March 31, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. Donna A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA

    If I can recall my business law class, that I took for my degree, correctly, isn't co-mingling funds illegal? Could someone, at CNN, please research this for the tax paying citizens and myself, and do an investigative report on this matter.

    Thank you,

    March 31, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    We will never get more information on bailout money being spent. THe Administration and Congress do not want us to know so we will not get mad at them. AIG bonuses and CEO pay are nothing more than distractions from what Congress did the last 2 1/2 years.

    March 31, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. rhoward

    Both the Bush and Obama administrations have treated the financial sector as though they are somehow magical and sacrosanct and the money we taxpayers are providing to bail these jerks out of the mess they got our economy in is none of our business. IF everything the banks are doing now is so honest and above-board, there should be no reason for the banks not to be more accountable for the money given them.

    March 31, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. avg.joe

    Government bailouts need to stop. If the Government is going to continue bailing out these big corporations that have already made billions from the American People, the small businesses will not be able to compete. If the government would just let the Giants fall the small businesses would pick up the pieces and grow. The individuals that lose their jobs in the big companies would find jobs at the small businesses that would be growing.

    March 31, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. Liberals Are Stupid

    Bwhahahahahahahaha!!!!! Do you really think a Democratic Congress, or a Dem TOTUS, or any other liberal cares how this money is spent? They'd only care if a Republican was spending the money.

    March 31, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. katiec

    What a bunch of baloney. The banks are now telling us they do not know how the TARP money was used? If their management of funds are so lax no wonder they are in trouble.
    Why can they not be subphonied to provide this info? They should
    not get one penny more until they become transparent on how they
    handled their previous bailout.

    March 31, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  14. RR

    so much for transparancy and accountability!

    Geitner must go!

    March 31, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. Sharon

    The mere fact that they can't or won't disclose where the money went prove that they are not only incompetent but are too big and should be downsized. If we get out of this mess the first thing that should be done is pass regulations to break these big comglomerates up and put sensible legislation to monitor what these guys are doing. Banks should do banking, investment firms should do investing, etc, etc. This mysterious interwining makes it easy to hide a lot of things and they certainly have. That's one of the reasons we are where we are. Any future money should require that every dime be accounted for. If they refuse, we refuse the help.

    March 31, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. RNC + DNC = politics as usual

    1. Obama says "tranparency"
    2. Everyone cheers
    3. Big Corporations give Big Money to Obama and others
    4. The banks / Wall St does what it wants

    That is the whole plan, plain and simple.

    March 31, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. The Last Patriot

    I am shocked to hear about this! Shocked, I tell you.

    To think that the government squandered this money is just hard to believe. No one would have imagined this lack of transparency and accountability.

    March 31, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. No More Incumbents

    Yeah. Or Congress will step in to fix it........ That's a good one.......

    March 31, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. Enlightened Voter

    avg.joe – Government bailouts need to stop? So then you must have been livid when bush and paulson bailed out the banks back in September 08 huh??????

    March 31, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  20. phoenix86

    Not so, the Treasury (and Obamabot) knew that AIG was a) eligible to pay the bonus and b) was going to pay them.

    The problem isn't a lack of info. The problem is congress NOT READING THE BILLS THEY VOTE INTO LAW.

    March 31, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  21. Will SouthDakota

    Nothing can be done now, Congress is powerless and will do nothing but have ANOTHER HEARING........big whoop and the banks will get away with it, they always do. The Taxpayers of America are powerless.

    March 31, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |