December 22, 2008
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The nation's largest banks are refusing to say how they're spending billions of dollars in taxpayer money.
The Treasury Department has been dolling out cash to banks as part of the unprecedented financial bailout. But there's no system in place for monitoring what the banks are doing with the money.
The Associated Press contacted 21 banks that have received at least $1 billion in taxpayer money and asked four questions: How much has been spent? What was it spent on? How much is being held in savings, and what's the plan for the rest?
None of the banks provided specific answers.
Congress rushed the bailout into law so quickly, no public disclosure was required. Now, lawmakers say, they're going to try to go back and get some answers retroactively.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)