Wanna’ know where are your hard earned tax payers’ money is going for the economic recovery?


Take a number, because you’re not the only one.  The Congress was stupid enough, lame enough, scared enough, bullied enough, inebriated enough, you choose the adjective, not to insist on over sight of its/our money and it’s really too late to ask questions now.

……….the nation’s largest banks say they can’t track exactly how they’re spending the money or they simply refuse to discuss it.

“We’ve lent some of it. We’ve not lent some of it. We’ve not given any accounting of, ‘Here’s how we’re doing it,'” said Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chase, which received $25 billion in emergency bailout money. “We have not disclosed that to the public. We’re declining to.”

*snip*

Pressured by the Bush administration to approve the money quickly, Congress attached nearly no strings on the $700 billion bailout in October. And the Treasury Department, which doles out the money, never asked banks how it would be spent.

We have managed to learn this much, despite the banking industry’s arrogance.

* The average paid to each of the banks’ top executives was $2.6 million in salary, bonuses and benefits.

* Lloyd Blankfein, president and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs, took home nearly $54 million in compensation last year. The company’s top five executives received a total of $242 million.

The New York-based company on Dec. 16 reported its first quarterly loss since it went public in 1999. It received $10 billion in taxpayer money Oct. 28.

This year, Goldman will forgo cash and stock bonuses for its seven top-paid executives. They will work for their base salaries of $600,000, the company said.

* Even where banks cut back on pay, some executives were left with seven- or eight-figure compensation that most people can only dream about. Richard D. Fairbank, the chairman of Capital One Financial Corp., took a $1 million hit in compensation after his company had a disappointing year but still got $17 million in stock options. The McLean, Va.-based company received $3.56 billion in bailout money on Nov. 14.

* John A. Thain, chief executive officer of Merrill Lynch, topped all corporate bank bosses, with $83 million in earnings last year. Thain, a former chief operating officer for Goldman Sachs, took the reins of the company in December 2007, avoiding the blame for a year in which Merrill lost $7.8 billion. Since he began work late in the year, he earned $57,692 in salary, a $15 million signing bonus and an additional $68 million in stock options.

For an industry that just a few months ago came to the federal government with their hat in their hands asking for public assistance, their ‘we’re not going to disclose that’ attitude gives meaning to the word chutzpah.  No wonder the New York Mellon Corp. spokesman who said he wouldn’t share spending specifics, added: “I just would prefer if you wouldn’t say that we’re not going to discuss those details.”