Banks Bailout Windfall.
As the Obama administration decides how to fix the economy, the troubles of the banking system have become particularly vexing. Congress has so far approved the $700 billion rescue plan with the idea that banks would help struggling borrowers and increase lending to stimulate the economy, and many lawmakers want to know how the first half of that money has been spent before approving the second half. But many banks that have received bailout money so far are reluctant to lend, worrying that if new loans go bad, they will be in worse shape if the economy deteriorates. Fearful that the economic downturn could deepen and wary of risking additional losses, the question of what to do with the bailout money comes down to self-preservation. Read more in NY Times.