In this illuminating video, the American News Project looks back at the $700 billion dollar bailout authorized by Congress earlier this year and at the loopholes that have allowed for virtually zero oversight of how funds are spent. Though Congress put in more than a hundred pages of oversight conditions, much of the legislation has proved toothless. The legislation fails to require that organizations receiving funds report back to Congress on exactly how they spend the money they receive. As such, firms can spend the tax-payer funded cash infusions on anything from bolstering their balance sheets to paying creditors to giving executives bonuses. As a law professor and expert on government transparency at Georgetown University put it, in crafting a bailout of such immense scale with such a glaring loophole, Congress acted with either huge “incompetence” or preposterous “venality.”

Marissa Colón-Margolies

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