20 APR 2011
By Alex Newman | The New American
Secret Federal Reserve System data released December 1 reveals that the banking cartel (the Fed and its member banks) bailed itself out to the tune of more than $10 trillion in “emergency” funds, with trillions more going to line the pockets of big European and foreign banks.
The previously undisclosed information was made available after Congress passed and the President signed a watered-down version of U.S. Congressman Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) wildly popular “Audit the Fed” bill. The original disclosure provisions were virtually gutted in the Senate by socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) before the audit was added to the financial reform bill.
But the Fed was still forced to hand over details about six emergency loan programs, trillions in “asset purchases,” the bailout of certain favored firms like AIG, and so-called “currency swaps” with foreign central banks. And the results of even the milder audit have shocked analysts and lawmakers.
"The $700 billion Wall Street bailout turned out to be pocket change compared to trillions and trillions of dollars in near zero interest loans and other financial arrangements that the Federal Reserve doled out to every major financial institution," said self-described socialist Senator Sanders after learning about the Fed data.
"After years of stonewalling by the Fed, the American people are finally learning the incredible and jaw-dropping details of the Fed's multitrillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street and corporate America," Sanders added in a statement. "Perhaps most surprising is the huge sum that went to bail out foreign private banks and corporations. As a result of this disclosure, other members of Congress and I will be taking a very extensive look at all aspects of how the Federal Reserve functions."
The biggest Fed “overnight loans” recipient was Merrill Lynch with over $2 trillion in low-interest handouts during the crisis. The firm eventually wound up collapsing anyway and was acquired by Bank of America — possibly with illegal strong arming from Fed bosses, according to comments made by Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky.
Citigroup, another rescued mega-bank, received $2 trillion under the program. That institution was also bailed out separately by the U.S. Treasury. In third place was Morgan Stanley with just under $2 trillion in loans from the Fed. Next on the list were Bear Stearns, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs, which called the Fed’s actions “very successful” through a spokesman.
“As we have previously disclosed, Morgan Stanley utilized some of the Federal Reserve's emergency lending facilities during a time of immense financial turmoil throughout the banking sector and the broader market," said Morgan Stanley public-relations people in a statement released December 1.
"The Fed's actions were timely and critical, and we commend them for providing liquidity and stabilizing the financial system during that period,” the statement also claimed, referring to the central bank’s extraordinary and unprecedented actions during the economic crisis.
In addition to data on the Fed’s “overnight” loans, information related to its purchases of troubled assets like mortgage-backed securities and commercial paper was also disclosed. European banks were the biggest beneficiaries, with Deutsche Bank dumping almost $300 billion of securities on the Fed, and Credit Suisse unloading close to $290 billion worth. In total, the Fed bought well over $1 trillion of mortgage-backed securities.
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