Friday, February 20, 2009

Soup-Kitchen Accounting - NYTimes Op-Ed

MARSHALLTOWN, IA - DECEMBER 11:  Guests at the...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Did you read this op-ed column in the NY Times this week? As a grant writer and citizen, I don't know which I think is better -- make the bailout more like the government grant-making process for nonprofits or make grants to nonprofits more like the bailout.

Op-Ed Contributors - Soup-Kitchen Accounting - "Executives of banks that have received TARP cash have said that it is too hard to account separately for how they spend their federal dollars. Money is fungible, they argue, and therefore they cannot readily distinguish between outlays of their own resources and those provided by the government. But that’s the type of doublespeak that would get the head of a town’s homeless shelter thrown in jail. If bankers are unable to segregate cash by source and specifically account for expenditures, why are they in charge of banks in the first place? ..."

"...However, this is where additional practices common to federal financial assistance come into play. Before a charity can receive a federal grant, it must prepare a proposal outlining precisely what it will do with the funds. Bailout recipients should do the same, or at least sign contracts agreeing to spend the money in accordance with terms set forth by the Treasury and to refrain from certain types of expenditures during these troubled times."

Which do you like better? Easier terms for us or tougher terms for them?
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with the NY Times article. I've worked in the non-profit industry and written and managed federal grants. I'm astounded that banks didn't have to jump through all the hoops my organizations have had to. The banks showed before hand that they were untrustworthy and yet were given funds. Non-profits, have to prove their trustworthiness first, before getting funds.