August 14th, 2009
09:07 AM ET
12 years ago

How Obama's transparency promise holds up

NEW YORK ( - 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.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. carlo

    Puleeze. Bush is back in his exclusive lilly white neighborhood in Texas and we STILL don't know ANYTHING about the Iraq war, the torture, the contractors killing innocent Iraqis, the actual amount of money spent, the lies, the cover-ups.

    Spare me your faux concern.

    August 14, 2009 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  2. Alpha and Omega - The Great Physician Against Republicans and StOoPiD Barbie Pale-End

    The answer is in the questions: Experts aren't too smart of they can't figure out that they should be asking the banks these questions – not the President. The banks are hding this information because they are still doing the same prctices that plunged America into a near depression. CNN, again shows that they need to go back to Political Science and Economics 101.

    August 14, 2009 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  3. Carl S.

    And now we are talking a complet overhaul of our healthcare system – Let's get TRAP under control and vitaed first before we bungle another area of society that affects our health.

    Healthcare reforme – Yes – but Responsilbe Healthcare Reforme

    August 14, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  4. Ghostwriter

    No problem with this at all. Matter of fact, I'm for it. Put the numbers out there and let the people judge for themselves. maybe all govt. spending should be handled in this manner.

    August 14, 2009 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  5. George

    Well I see CNN is working for FOX NEWS again. What a joke you are.

    August 14, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  6. PLEASE, NO more republicans ruining this country!

    What did we know about the bush administration? We are finding out more and more each day how he hookwinked this country.

    August 14, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  7. RealityKing

    The only thing transparent about Obama is his progressively liberal ideology.

    August 14, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  8. bush VICTIM

    First republicans say he is too visible, now he's not. He has everything on and yet it's not enough?? We were told NOTHING during the last 8 years about NOTHING!

    August 14, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  9. worriedmom

    What transparency???? They hide more things than Bush ever did!!

    August 14, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  10. Enlightened Voters

    Where was the transparency, town halls, protests, websites and information when bush was destroying this country? Why do people demand so much of President Obama yet demanding nothing of bush who actually ruined this country?

    August 14, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  11. obummer, 1 and done

    Typical obama, I'll tell you what I want you to know and think, just don't do it on your own.

    August 14, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  12. Tee NC

    Same with Healthcare....We NEED and WANT answers

    August 14, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  13. MatthewDetroit

    EVERYONE else has turned ALL of their records over from college, university, business, work, relations, etc...
    Why dont we see Obamas complete transcripts. From his first college until his graduation date.
    Why dont we see who he worked for in Chicago.
    What clients did he represent.
    Who he had business meetings with.
    Who ALL of his donors were in his campaign.
    Why dont we see his complete BIRTH record with dates, names, locations, ages, etc.... all officials.
    We saw it all for Bush, Kerry, McCain, WHY NOT OBAMS.
    Transparency. LIE LIE LIE.

    August 14, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  14. MatthewDetroit


    WHY are we moving prisoners from GITMO to US Prisons. NO REASON except for political.
    They are just as safe and sound there. NO need to have them on US soil.

    August 14, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  15. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    Somebody at CNN has finally started asking the questions we in the unpatriotic mob are concerned about. No answers yet though. These are just the questions on the TARP, there are a whole lot more that are going unanswered by this most tranparent administration in history.

    August 14, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  16. mike in VA

    Reading this I just had to pinch myself and double check which website I was on...

    ahhh, doesn't the coffee smell good this morning

    August 14, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  17. Sandra Day

    Gee, would have been nice if someone held Bush to these standards?

    August 14, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  18. Melissa

    Oh come on now. We have never ever had as much transparency as Obama has given us during his time in office. So don't give me that.

    August 14, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  19. jules sand-perkins

    The use of stimulus funds by Obama is as transparent as a beautiful painting on opaque glass.

    August 14, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  20. Hugo

    Transparency right! I still find it outrageous that if you wish to get a passport in this country you are required to provide a birthcertificate but if you want to be President, you don't. The transparency question I want answered is did or does Obama have dual citizenship with Indonesia. This is not a question to negate his Presidency, this is a question of knowing who our President is and the level of his truthfulness and his integrity. I find it quite alarming that instead of providing the supporting information to debunk the claims they instead label someone a nut or a right wing fringe crazy if they want to know the truth about their leaders? Something to hide?

    August 14, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  21. joe

    It is surprising that the man that touted the word "transparency" as the saving grace in politics has fallen so far from the mark. I think he thought Government websites were the key, but as American's that are being asked to pony up tons of money (and of course higher taxes soon) know nothing about what are money is being used for. Can anyone tell me if they are working on a stimulus created project, where are the green jobs, (or the 600,000 jobs he promised). We don't even know what this health care policy truly is all about. What about the PIIP transactions that were supposed to entice the private equity companies to help banks reduce "toxic assets". What are the roles of these "Czar's" this President is creating – in the short time he has been in office, we have racked up trillions in future debt, the economy is behind other nations which have not spent a fraction of what we spent. Government has gotten bigger and anger is tearing the country apart. It stems from his failing to meet his objective of transparency!

    August 14, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  22. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    I think for the interests of the taxpayer in this country, these questions among the others should be addressed and that information made public. While I am a President Obama supporter, I have written my representatives as well as the President requesting more transparency with government spending.

    August 14, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  23. Mike

    How can obummer and his cronies be transparent when they do not know where all the money he has given away is going. The government has already proved they cannot run the health care industry, just check out the VA medical facilities and Medicare. Yet obummer wants a massive intrusion into our health care. JUST SAY NO.

    August 14, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  24. Ap

    Mr Obama.
    What happend ? We need some answers, Others wise FALSE PROMISES,To DECEIVE, To UPSET. Is true Means WAS ON THE BRINK OF RUIN.

    August 14, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  25. Chipster

    The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) recently surveyed the participating banks. 98% of survey recipients responded. 80 percent of the respondents reported that the funds were used for lending and to avoid reductions in lending.

    About a third invested some of the funds in agency-mortgage backed securities to provide immediate support for lending and borrowing activities of other banks for lending purposes.

    CNN, perhaps you should contact the Inspector General's office. They may be able to answer more of your questions. Maybe you could report it as NEWS.

    August 14, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
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