'Nightly News' Perplexed by TARP-Recipients Lending to Foreign Countries

Global banks lending money to other countries including “the playground of the Middle East” angered Congressmen, but Lisa Myers investigation didn’t point out that those critics of how the banks lent money voted for TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) in the first place.

In a segment on March 11 “NBC Nightly News,” Myers, NBC’s senior investigative correspondent, probed into why three particular banks – Citigroup (NYSE:C), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) – made loans to overseas institutions, but supposedly neglected domestic institutions.

“In December, Citigroup – after taking $25 billion in bailout money, announced that it arranged $8 billion in financing for public entities in Dubai, some of it the bank’s own money,” Myers said. “In India, JPMorgan committed to investing as much as $1 billion there and around the world, while Bank of America bought a $7 billion chunk of China’s construction bank. All this while some American companies were struggling to get loans.”

Myers’ segment then showed four outraged members of Congress on a subcommittee of the House Oversight and Reform Committee – Chairman Reps. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, Mark Souder, R-Ind., Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., and Elijah Cummings, D-Md.

“There’s got to be – number one, transparency,” Cummings said. “And the American people have got to see that they’re getting something out of the deal. That’s the problem. Duh!”

One problem. Of those “upset” members of the subcommittee shown in Myers report, only Kucinich voted against the TARP bailout when it passed on Oct. 3, 2008 by a 263-171 vote. Myers neglected to point that out for viewers.

But she did point out how the TARP how failed to do what it was intended to do – unfreeze credit.

“Today, a new independent analysis said, based on limited data, there appears to be a trickle of increased spending,” Myers said. “The study by a unit of Dow Jones found the three big banks that received $75 billion from taxpayers provided about $100 million in additional loans.”

Although Myers herself didn’t reveal one way or another how she felt about the TARP bailout before it passed, others in the mainstream media did. “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric demanded that House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, tell her on Sept. 30, 2008, “What in the World Are You People Doing?” That was after the bailout failed to pass the first time. And CNBC’s Jim Cramer, who appears frequently on NBC programs, including “Today” and “Nightly News” warned that if the bailout didn’t pass the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) would collapse by 2,000 points on his “Mad Money” program on Sept. 25, 2008.

Needless to say, the TARP bailout passed and was eventually signed into law, but the Dow still fell 4,526 points – all the way to under 6,500 on March 6 from its 11,022 close on Sept. 25, 2008.