http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy.../10/29/AR2008102904533.html?hpid=sec-business Sorry (the Washington post wants you to register to use the link...) Bailout Money Is for Lending, Critics Say By Binyamin Appelbaum Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, October 30, 2008; Page A01 U.S. banks getting more than $163 billion from the Treasury Department for new lending are on pace to pay more than half of that sum to their shareholders, with government permission, over the next three years. The government said it was giving banks more money so they could make more loans. Dollars paid to shareholders don't serve that purpose, but Treasury officials say that suspending quarterly dividend payments would have deterred banks from participating in the voluntary program. Seems to me it should be their choice to fail or not. Critics, including economists and members of Congress, question why banks should get government money if they already have enough money to pay dividends -- or conversely, why banks that need government money are still spending so much on dividends. "The whole purpose of the program is to increase lending and inject capital into Main Street. If the money is used for dividends, it defeats the purpose of the program," said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has called for the government to require a suspension of dividend payments.