. November 12, 2008 SouthAmerica: In a nutshell: How to become a "Banana Republic" at the speed of light. ***** Yahoo News â Tech Ticker âBail-Outrage: Misuse of Funds, Lack of Transparency a National Disgraceâ Nov 11, 2008 03:37pm EST By Aaron Task Many Americans are understandably outraged by the bailout fever that has gripped Washington this year. But even those who believe the bailouts are a "necessary evil" would have a hard time defending some of the bailout-related items that have come to light in recent days, including: Â· Financial institutions using TARP bailout money to pay executive bonuses. The firms, of course, say it's "different" money and bonuses are key to retaining top employees. But if you need to come to the government for a handout, shouldn't your executives forgo a bonus? Or shouldn't the government make canceling bonuses a condition of getting aid, as is the case in Europe? Â· The Fed refusing to reveal who received almost $2 trillion in non-TARP loans, or what collateral it has accepted from "emergency" loans made to struggling firms, as Bloomberg reports. Â· The Treasury Department providing a tax break to banks involved in acquisitions that could amount to $140 billion. The Washington Post reveals the change to the tax code was issued on Sept. 30, while Congress was debating the $700 billion TARP bill. The bailouts are bad enough. But this kind of chicanery and lack of transparency makes me recall a line from another time when fear and deceit dominated Washington: Have they no shame, at long last? .