NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – The Obama administration pledged unprecedented transparency in its accounting of the $700 billion bank and auto bailouts (TARP) and the $787.2 billion Recovery Act. A lot of information has been made public but there are some key details where the transparency falls far short.
Here's what we still don't know:
1. How are banks using TARP funds?
2. Who are bailed out banks lending to?
3. What is the value of the assets that Treasury has accumulated as a result of TARP?
4. Where are stimulus funds ultimately going?
They're important questions: We want the government to ensure it is spending our money wisely, and experts want to know why the Obama administration won't provide the answers.
CHERRY CREEK, South Dakota (CNN) - The tiny one-room house rests on a hill; no electricity and no running water. A creaky metal cot and a rusting wood-burning stove is all the comfort Herbert Hale says he needs.
"All it is is logs, glue - dirt and water put together - then cement and the chicken string," Hale says of his home. "Long as the windows don't break, it's nice and warm in here."
The roof leaks a bit, and the floorboards are rotted in one corner, but Hale isn't one to complain.
"It's home," he says, almost under his breath, as he invites a visitor to have a look.
Firewood is stacked in one corner inside, and more outside as Hale uses the summer months to stockpile for prairie winters, where 20 below zero is not all that uncommon.
He also pulls bunches of long weeds in the prairie grass, to dry for use as a firestarter.
"I have to be careful," Hale says matter-of-factly as he pulls a few fistfuls. "Sometimes there are some snakes. Rattlesnakes. Nothing to mess around with."
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
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