If I Tracked My Company's Money like the Banks...
So the Associated Press contacted 21 banks that received at least $1 Billion each and asked four reasonably sounding questions; How much has been spent? What was it spent on? How much is being held in savings? What's the plan for the rest?
These seem pretty legitimate especially since the source of the funding was the American taxpayers. However, none of the 21 banks provided any specific answers.
While I agree that it is almost impossible to cite what expenses are going out the door based on revenue coming in using a 1 to 1 relationship, I disagree that the banks should not have been able to articulate what variety of programs would be earmarked for the funds; e.g., small business loans, low income family mortgages, extending credit lines, etc.
It seems like a budgeting exercise to me, just on a grander scale. If I know my revenue is $XXX, I know how much I can earmark to marketing programs, new business initiatives, etc., that will help to maintain the company in a solid, financial position. Maximizing revenue and managing expenses are basic principles of business. If I am unable to answer these types of questions asked of me, then clearly I am not doing my job.
Who are the senior managers of the banks that are unable to answer these questions accountable to? While the answer is ultimately the taxpayer, it appears from an outsider's perspective that they do not believe this to be true.