Monday, December 22

Why should we be surprised?

There is news coverage this morning that the banks won't tell its lenders how it's using the bailout money. Of course, unlike banks, the Treasury Department and Congress, as representatives of the lenders--that would be us, the taxpayers--handed out money pretty much willy nilly. Now you know when you go to borrow money from a bank for any reason whatsoever you have to fill out and sign about a zillion forms, have everything notarized, document who you are and your every predilection and intention. And yet, we handed over billions to banks with virtually no oversight.

In the earlier AIG fiasco, people were told the money for the corporate blowout event at a resort was not using bailout money. Of course, under pressure, they canceled that event. Of course, then they went on a secret event.

Now we're being told the banks aren't tracking how they are spending our money, so we'll never know if they are spending our money wisely, if they are spending our money to help our economy, or if they've not learned a single thing and are simply doing what they really do best: make profits for themselves.

I am not outraged by the banks' behaviors. I am beyond outraged. I have to remember, though, that a lot of folks who are also in difficult straits work at some of those banks. I am, however, disgusted by our politicians--all of them--and further disgusted by the arrogance of those who have been entrusted with the economic well-being of our country. Quite honestly, because of the way the banks are behaving with the money I have loaned them and given that it was loaned them with the expectation that they would serve the country, I think their behavior borders on treason. They have most certainly betrayed our trust. And because we don't know what they are doing with the money--if and how they are investing it, if and how they are spending it, and if and why they are saving it--we have no way of knowing if they are still trying to make a quick, speculative buck in ways that are advantageous only to a privileged few and even more detrimental to the health and well-being of this country.

Hank Paulson now has much pull with the banks as I do. I certainly hope the Obama Secretary of the Treasury Geithner will come in kickin' ass and takin' names.

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