Remember the $700B that was *desperately* needed so the banks could loan it? Well, the banks took the cash, but they're holding on to it instead of loaning it - and they're not ashamed to say so.
From today's NY Times: Loans? Did We Say We’d Do Loans?
"Now, lo and behold, with $250 billion in bailout funds committed to dozens of large and regional banks, it turns out that many of the recipients of this investment from taxpayers are not all that interested in making loans. And it appears that Mr. Paulson is not so bothered by their reluctance...
Asked how an infusion of $25 billion of bailout funds would change the bank’s lending policy, an executive said the money would be used to buy other banks. “I think there are going to be some great opportunities for us to grow in this environment, and I think we have an opportunity to use that $25 billion in that way,” the executive said. He added that the money could also be used as a backstop in case “recession turns into depression or what happens in the future.”
There was not a word about lending — not to businesses or home buyers or car buyers or students or other consumers. Just the opposite. In response to another question, the executive said that the bank expected to continue to tighten credit.