November 25, 2008 6:19 AM

In the end, we'll learn that Hank Paulson was holed up in his office, snorting cocaine off the naked backs of hookers using rolled-up $1000 bills

The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in September they would comply with congressional demands for transparency in a $700 billion bailout of the banking system. Two months later, as the Fed lends far more than that in separate rescue programs that didn't require approval by Congress, Americans have no idea where their money is going or what securities the banks are pledging in return.... "The collateral is not being adequately disclosed, and that's a big problem," said Dan Fuss, vice chairman of Boston-based Loomis Sayles & Co., where he co-manages $17 billion in bonds. "In a liquid market, this wouldn't matter, but we're not. The market is very nervous and very thin."

So, let me see if I have this straight. We're giving $2 TRILLION to various and assorted financial institutions that are various and assorted degrees of all manner of (&^%$# up...and the Fed is REFUSING to disclose who is getting said obscene amounts of taxpayer dollars?

Yep. Youbetcha. We're going to toss GAZILLIONS of your tax dollars down the modern equivalent of a rat hole...and we're not going to tell you where it's going. We're the government...and we don't have to do it if we don't wanna...and we don't wanna. So, call me a pessimist if you must...but if we're throwing TRILLIONS of tax dollars at what may ultimately be a "good money after bad" scenario, shouldn't we be able to expect at least a minimum of transparency? Who's getting it, what it's being used for, when we can expect that money to be paid back...nothing onerous, certainly; just the same sort of information you or I would be expected to provide if we happened to be...oh, I don't know...applying for a loan? And when we're talking TRILLIONS of dollars, I think we have a right to exercise a degree of trepidation when we hear that the Fed has no plans to tell us where our money is going. I mean, not to be a pain or anything, but if I remember correctly, the word "TRILLION" is Latin for "a buttload". I can't speak for anyone but myself, of course, but if "a buttload" of my money is going somewhere, I'd sure as Hell like to know where my money is going and to the pursuit of what purpose my money is intended.

Accountability and transparency is not an "inconvenience". It's not a "pain". It's merely the by-product of a not at all unreasonable expectation that our government inform us as to what they're doing with our money. It's not a "red" or "blue" issue; being accountable and transparent is simply the right thing to do...and we should be demanding, at the top of our collective lungs, that those charged with doling out our tax dollars do the right thing. Now. Early. And often.

I was a History major, so I don't pretend to understand the complex economic issues that Hank Paulson and his merry band of masked men are throwing money at. What I do expect is that they know what they're doing and that they do it to the best of the ability...and I of course expect them to succeed...but is it too much to expect some accountability and transparency...especially when the sums being tossed around amount to TRILLIONS? (And do ANY of us have ANY idea what a vast amount a TRILLION of anything is? Personally, I can't even begin to grasp the scope and significance of a TRILLION of anything. Yeah, it's "a buttload", but I just can't wrap my head around a number that...well, "large" doesn't even begin to describe it.)

Memo to Hank Paulson: it's time to do the right thing. Or perhaps the money really IS going for hookers and blow??

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This page contains a single entry by Jack Cluth published on November 25, 2008 6:19 AM.

There's no wrong way to do the right thing was the previous entry in this blog.

I also accept cash...especially in large sums is the next entry in this blog.

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