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Marketplace Scratch Pad

Where your money is going

Scott Jagow Apr 1, 2009

The Obama administration seems to be hitting its stride in terms of communicating with the public. The website designed to track the government’s bailout money, financialstability.gov, is finally up and running.

You can see every transaction the government has made with banks, non-bank financial companies and the auto industry. Here’s the latest update. Just a word of explanation for reading the chart — in most cases, the Treasury is buying “warrants” for bank stock. That means, the Treasury can buy the stock at a specific price at a time of its choosing (a 10-year window, generally). Some of the warrants have been exercised, some have not, and that is made clear on the chart.

The “latest news” section is, not surprisingly, a selection of media columns and stories that make the administration look good. There’s a decoder area to help people understand financial terms and acronyms like SSFI, CAP, ABS and AGP. The site has an interactive map which allows you to see how much each state has received in bank capital infusions. New York, of course, far outpaces every other state with $80 billion. Only two states haven’t received any bank investment — Montana and Vermont.

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