Incoming White House senior adviser David Axelrod told me President-elect Barack Obama will have a strong message for bankers once he takes office: start lending again.
"I think he’s going to have a strong message for the bankers. We want to see credit flowing again. We don’t want them to sit on any money that they get from taxpayers. And the other things that we have to deal with is transparency. No one can really tell you exactly where the money went, how it was spent. It’s not easy to follow, even for people in government. We have to deal with that and we have to begin to address the housing issue in a way it hasn’t been addressed yet," Axelrod said.
"And we have to make sure that the money doesn’t go to excessive CEO pay and dividends when it should be going to lending," he said.
Axelrod slammed the way the Bush administration spent the first $350-billion of the TARP money.
"I think it’s clear that it has to be administered in a much different way," Axelrod said. "First of all, the point is to get credit flowing again, to businesses and to families across the country. That hasn’t happened with the expenditure of the first $350-billion."