Monday, December 22, 2008

Crime and Civil Disobedience

Where'd the Bailout Money Go? $350 billion later, banks won't say how they're spending it.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Think you could borrow money from a bank without saying what you were going to do with it? Well, apparently when banks borrow from you they don't feel the same need to say how the money is spent.

After receiving billions in aid from U.S. taxpayers, the nation's largest banks say they can't track exactly how they're spending it. Some won't even talk about it.

"We're choosing not to disclose that," said Kevin Heine, spokesman for Bank of New York Mellon, which received about $3 billion.

Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chase, which received $25 billion in emergency bailout money, said that while some of the money was lent, some was not, and the bank has not given any accounting of exactly how the money is being used.

"We have not disclosed that to the public. We're declining to," Kelly said.

The Associated Press contacted 21 banks that received at least $1 billion in government 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.

"We're not providing dollar-in, dollar-out tracking," said Barry Koling, a spokesman for Atlanta, Ga.-based SunTrust Banks Inc., which got $3.5 billion in taxpayer dollars.

Some banks said they simply didn't know where the money was going.
Continue at:,0,2429990.story?page=1

I almost wish I'd made enough money to owe taxes this year so I could refuse to file.
IRS: Where is your check? You owe taxes.
Me: Oh, I choose not to tell you what I am doing with that money, but I will let you know I have decided not to send a check to you. If I hang onto it, I know where it will go when the time comes.

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