Contact: Amy Fuller or Patrice McDermott, 202-332-6736
WASHINGTON, April 20 – Do you want to know what the government and the financial sector are doing with your tax dollars in the bailout? Well, now you can easily find out. OpenTheGovernment.org announces the launch of BailoutWatch.net, on behalf of the Bailout Watch project, to help the public track and analyze the latest developments in the federal government’s massive bailout of financial institutions and other businesses deemed "too big to fail."
The new site gives users access to the latest bailout-related news, events, analysis, useful tools, federal reports, and more – all available via RSS feed. The site also features an "Expert Exchange" where users can read what the experts are saying about the bailout, and can share their own comments.
According to OpenTheGovernment.org’s Director, Patrice McDermott, "By creating one place where members of the public, the press, and the media can go to find the latest bailout-related material, this site will help people learn about the bailout, and help them find out what the government is not telling them. We hope that this website will increase the pressure on policymakers to be more transparent in their actions."
The site is a part of the Bailout Watch project, a collaborative effort to research, investigate, and analyze the federal government’s bailout activities and publish resources and data for policymakers, the media, and interested citizens. Bailout Watch draws upon the expertise and resources of the partner organizations to identify specific data that should be disclosed (and made available in an online, indexed, searchable format), research and investigate government decision-making processes related to the bailout, and to provide analysis and commentary about the effectiveness of different bailout programs. In addition to OpenTheGovernment.org, core participating organizations in the project are: the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), Economic Policy Institute (EPI), OMB Watch, Project on Government Oversight (POGO), and Taxpayers for Common Sense. Additional support and participation is provided by a wide variety of organizations that cross the ideological spectrum.
Gary Bass, the Executive Director of OMB Watch, says, "Transparency and accountability under the federal bailout program has been shamefully poor. Bailout Watch and this new website, BailoutWatch.net, is an important step in holding the administration and Wall Street accountable for trillions of dollars used and in determining whether the investment in banks has resulted in credit to small businesses and low- and middle class families."
OpenTheGovernment.org is a coalition transcending party lines of more than 70 consumer and good government groups, librarians, environmentalists, labor, journalists, and others focused on pushing back governmental secrecy and promoting openness.