... That the federal government would prove inept in providing any serious oversight to the release of the first half of the $700 billion [Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)] is certainly no surprise.

But even that pales compared to the arrogance shown by the nation’s financial institutions when asked to explain to the public how they are using the bailout money.

... [O]ther than to suggest the money is being used to bolster their bottom lines and help ease the credit crunch, the banks either refused to provide any specific accounting for the money or declined to talk about it altogether.

Fortunately, the secrecy surrounding the federal bailout isn’t sitting well with government watchdogs and some members of Congress.

... U.S. Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFormer US attorneys urge support for Trump nominee The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Republicans see some daylight in midterm polling Senate panel clears bill to bolster probes of foreign investment deals MORE, D-Calif., and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, intend to reintroduce legislation filed late in the last session that would require all financial institutions to report to the Treasury Department how TARP money was being spent each quarter.

We urge our congressional delegation to get behind this bipartisan bill and any others that attempt to bring some transparency to the spending of billions of dollars in taxpayer money.

... If neither the Treasury Department nor the banks are willing to allow some sunshine into this process, then Congress should refuse to allocate the second $350 billion for the program.