Sunday, December 28, 2008

It's not about privacy, Mr. Barnes

On the Beltway Boys this morning, Mort and Fred were discussing the refusal of the banks to reveal where the bailout money went. Mort opined that the banks had an obligation to the Congress and the American people to explain exactly what they spent the money on - whether it was used to fund more lending and free up credit as Congress intended or if it was hoarded and used to buy up smaller banks. (I have a feeling I know!)

Fred pronounced "privacy" like it was a human right. News to Fred... if you accept money from anyone privacy is jettisoned. Had a venture capital company bailed out these banks - which really is how the government is acting, only less effective - their books would so be open. Not to mention the company would probably expect an equity stake and a place on the board. Uncle Sam is acting more like, well, a rich uncle. Throwing a bunch of money on a profligate niece or nephew and only later whining, "where did it all go?" without much leverage to demand an answer.

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