Banks hoarding bailout money

The Minnesota Daily editorial board published an Oct. 3 editorial encouraging our readers to support the now-approved economic relief package. We wrote this editorial in good hope that our financial leaders and institutions would use the goliath funding to unfreeze the credit markets and benefit our economy. Americans extended their hands in earnest trust of our countryâÄôs economic leaders. As almost four weeks has passed from when the relief package was approved, we are now starting to realize that our trust should have been harder to obtain. Golden parachutes have opened, executive vacations and retreats have been dealt, and, the credit markets are still frozen. A few days after the government revealed an $85 billion bailout for the insurance company AIG, company executives decided to take a $443,000 executive retreat to Monarch Beach, Calif. Since then, we have lent AIG a total of $120 billion of âÄúemergency funding.âÄù Although the bailout had language in it to restrict CEO executive pay, company executives from failed banks such as Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual have taken home a fortune from their banks failing. Alan H. Fishman, ex-CEO of Washington Mutual, spent four weeks on the job before his bank failed, but still miraculously received a $20 million golden parachute. The New York Times business reporter Joe Nocera revealed that the Treasury cannot force banks to start making loans âÄî other than, essentially, begging them. Sen. Chris Dodd told the Times that âÄúif it turns out that [the banks] are hoarding, youâÄôll have a revolution on your hands âĦ there will be hell to pay.âÄù Indeed. Congress and the new administration should create tighter oversight mechanisms on banks injected with capitol to ensure they are not hoarding money from the taxpayers who bailed them out.