President Obama is urging America's bailed out banks to step up and help restore the economy. He met with bank executives at the White House today and urged them to provide more loans to small-business owners.
"My main message in today's meeting was simple: America's banks received extraordinary assistance from American taxpayers to rebuild their industry. And now that they are back on their feet, we expect an extraordinary commitment from them to help rebuild our economy," Obama said.
That comment was a lot more muted than what the president said last night on CBS' 60 Minutes when he blasted the banking industry. "I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of, you know, fat-cat bankers on Wall Street," Obama said last night.
Tonight on 360°, we're tracking the dollars and keeping them honest. Are bankers doing enough to revive the U.S. economy? Or are they looking only for only their bottom-line? Share your thoughts below.
Here's a cash reality check: Since last year, more than $450 billion bailout dollars - your tax dollars - have been given to banks. Over the same time period, banks have slashed lending to businesses by about 15 percent. CNN Money estimates JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs alone will give nearly $30 billion in bonuses. Plus, America's banks have spent more than $36 million lobbying against financial reform this year.
"I should note that around the table all the financial industry executives said they supported financial regulatory reform, " Obama said today. "The problem is there's a big gap between what I'm hearing at the White House and the activities of lobbyists on behalf of these institutions or associations of which they're a member up on Capitol Hill," he added.
After today's White House meeting only three of the ten bankers in attendance talked to the media. One of them was Richard Davis, CEO of US Bancorp who agreed there is a "disconnect" between what bankers are saying and what the lobbyists are doing on Capitol Hill. "We're going to do a better job," he said.
Davis also addressed the concern that banks aren't doing enough lending.
"You don't want us to make loans that are not strong and well suited for the consumer or the small business. So we agree viscerally that more lending needs to be done, we're looking for those opportunities to make sure that we don't put people in harm's way, and we don't put banks back in harm's way."
Tonight we also have a 360° follow on the videotaped beating death of a Chicago high school student back in September. You may recall, Derrion Albert was killed in a brawl that involved about 50 students. The attack shocked the nation.
You'll hear from the brother of one of the four teens charged in the killing of Derrion.
CNN's TJ Holmes talked with Vashion Bullock, who was also part of the fight, right in the middle of the melee.
TJ asked Vashion if anyone should be held accountable for the death.
"No, not accountable for the whole thing, because it was a mistake. Ain't nobody want him to die, ain't nobody meant for him to die", Bullock said.
The way Bullock sees it fighting is about "survival."
Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET on CNN. See you then!
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with