Saturday, January 17, 2009

Why aren't banks lending to you? Because they don't have to, even after getting bailout money

The New York Times reports that consumers are not getting loans for cars and homes because banks don't want to lend, even after receiving our tax money.

And they aren't required to lend after taking your money.

The Times reports:

Individually, banks that received some of the first $350 billion from the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, have offered few public details about how they plan to spend the money, and they are not required to disclose what they do with it. But in conversations behind closed doors with investment analysts, some bankers have been candid about their intentions.

Most of the banks that received the money are far smaller than behemoths like Citigroup or Bank of America. A review of investor presentations and conference calls by executives of some two dozen banks around the country found that few cited lending as a priority. An overwhelming majority saw the bailout program as a no-strings-attached windfall that could be used to pay down debt, acquire other businesses or invest for the future.

CNN reports that 61% of Americans are not in favor of the remaining $350 billion in TARP money being spent on these banks. Yet the Senate, with the help of Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, voted this week to give away the rest of the money.

Your tax dollars are being used to buy the largest share of ownership in these banks -- that don't want to lend to you.

That's what makes sense to Washington.

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