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New tools help public gauge banks' health

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  1. Freedom of Information
The Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University's School of Communications just launched a new tool that makes it easier to check up…

The Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University’s School of Communications just launched a new tool that makes it easier to check up on the health of banks receiving government bailout funds.

The project, in partnership with msnbc.com, uses publicly available information from government agencies to calculate a "troubled assets ratio." That ratio helps people know just how "troubled" the bank is.

Visitors to the BankTracker can search for banks by name or use an interactive map of the United States to find out how banks in certain geographic areas are doing.

A host of other Web sites also offer bailout and stimulus information: recovery.gov; ombwatch.org; openthegovernment.org; the Congressional Oversight Panel; and the Special Inspector General.