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What Would You Ask the Banking CEOs?

This article was written by in Economy. 14 comments.

Today, CEOs from the largest banks receiving the first batch of funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), billions of dollars initially designed to loosen the credit crunch, will be visiting Washington today to be grilled by the House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee. There is no doubt that the bankers will be asked to describe and justify how money from the government was spent (or not spent).

I think it’s fair to know how $176 billion of taxpayer money, lent to the government by investors, has been used to stabilize the banking system. Answering questions will be:

  • Vikram Pandit, Citigroup
  • Kenneth Lewis, Bank of America
  • Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs
  • James Dimon, JP Morgan Chase
  • John Mack, Morgan Stanley
  • Robert Kelly, Bank of New York Mellon
  • Ronald Logue, State Street
  • John Stumpf, Wells Fargo

With taxpayer money invested in these companies, some newly designated as banks just so they could receive funds from the TARP, these CEOs are now partially working for the public. They answer to all Americans. Do you have any questions for these eight CEOs?

Update: As I was writing this post, David Ellis from CNN offered four questions he would ask the CEOs:

  • What did you do with the money?
  • What have you done to act more responsibly?
  • How many more potential losses are there?
  • How did you get to Washington?

What would you add?

Published or updated February 11, 2009. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Ed

Questions for the bank CEOs.

How much in fees and comissions did your company make on CDOs and securitized mortgage instruments?
Are there any financial connections between your company and the rating agencies?
Can you define what a fiduciary responsibility means?
What would you do if we cut off all bailout funds to your company?
Explain why the American public shouldn’t call for hangings on Wall Street of Madoff and other white collar criminals?

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avatar shoyu

When are you going to fix your RSS?

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avatar Luke Landes

shoyu: I’m working on it, thanks.

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avatar Rassah

Although it may somewhat reflect whether these CEOs are being responsible with the money, considering the billions involved, I’m no sure how much it would matter whether the CEOs spent 0.000005% of their borrowed money on an economy class plane ticket, or 0.000047% on a private jet. That is a very small margin to be covered by their overall profits needed to cover their loan repayment.

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avatar Tim

I wouldn’t ask them anything. Let me see: we have a economic problem, because consumers over leveraged themselves, borrowed and spent more than they could afford. We now have Congress chastising the execs telling them to lend money. So, Congress wants the banks to lend money again to regular joe who is already over leveraged? The banks are lending, they are finally only lending to people and companies with excellent credit. I think the questions should be reversed: exactly who does congress want the banks to lend to? How much risk, again, does Congress want the banks to take on loans?

the CEOs have been working for taxpayers, the taxpayers who owned shares in their companies. Just because the govt has lent them taxpayer money, doesn’t mean congress or the taxpayer has sole voting rights or control over what they should do. I don’t know how to run a bank, and I sure as hell know Congress doesn’t know. It’s pretty disingenuous of Congress to be posturing so when they are $13t in debt and going to spend another $2t.

if a bank gives you a credit card or a personal loan, you would take pause if they said you have to run your tickle me elmo purchase by them first because they are giving you the money.

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