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The 16 Trillion dollar Con

…. Or “16 Trillion for Bankers and Sacrifice for us” …. It hardly seems fair.

From Bernie Sanders today comes this heart-stopping news:

Veil of secrecy lifted at the Fed

More than two years ago, I asked Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, a few simple questions that I thought the American people had a right to know: Who did the Fed bail out? How much did they receive? What were the terms of this assistance?

Incredibly, the chairman of the Fed refused to answer these fundamental questions about how trillions of taxpayer dollars were being put at risk.

Thanks to an amendment that I included in the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to audit and investigate the Fed, the American people are finally getting answers to these questions.

A few days ago, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office completed the first independent investigation into the emergency actions taken by the Federal Reserve. As a result of this investigation, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided a jaw-dropping $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the world.

Among the investigation’s key findings is that the Fed unilaterally provided trillions of dollars in financial assistance to foreign banks and corporations from South Korea to Scotland. In my view, no agency of the United States government should be allowed to bail out a foreign bank or corporation without the direct approval of Congress and the president.

The GAO also determined that the Fed lacks a comprehensive system to deal with conflicts of interest, despite the serious potential for abuse. In fact, according to the report, the Fed provided conflict-of-interest waivers to employees and private contractors so they could keep investments in the same financial institutions and corporations that were given emergency loans.

For example, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase served on the New York Fed’s board of directors at the same time that his bank received more than $390 billion in financial assistance from the Fed. Moreover, JP Morgan Chase served as one of the clearing banks for the Fed’s emergency lending programs.

Let me repeat:

we now know that the Federal Reserve provided a jaw-dropping $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the world.

Where the heck does the Federal Reserve GET this kind of money?  And why can’t they give it to prop up Social Security and Medicare?

31 Responses

  1. The Fed can manufacture money out of thin air. That’s where the $16 trillion came from. The Fed also purchased all the MBS a.k.a. toxic assets from the banks and gave it to the taxpayers. That’s why we no longer hear about toxic assets. The Fed is criminal and Ron Paul is right, but he’s been made to be another crazy, like Kucinich.

    • So …. why can’t they do it for Social Security & Medicare for Everyone.

      Is part of it like Fight Club?

      • The Fed can loan to SS, but then SS would have to pay it back. The $16 trillion was loaned, not gifts. The outrage is that if the Fed is not paid back, we the taxpayers will be holding the bag. The Fed is accountable to no one, not congress, the people or the president.

        • Bernie could hardly find out about the loans, much less the terms. How would we know if this stuff is paid off? And what happens if it’s not?

          • They don’t need to loan anything to SS or Medicare – they are both solvent and will be for many years – they just keep making this stuff up.
            They are all (except Bernie) liars, cheats and thieves.

            Fire them all – re-elect no incumbant! This country is ripe for a coup!

  2. I’m sorry but somehow, someway this all has to end!!!!

    This is beyond sickening! The Fed has TRILLIONS to toss away at FOREIGN banks and Corporations but can’t find a few pennies to toss to the dregs?

    Sorry, but if this hasn’t convinced the sheep that the Corporations truly DO own this ( and every other ) Government, I don’t know what will!!!

  3. Here is the Fed balance sheet in millions, so we have add 6 zeroes to the numbers. Notice that up to Aug 20 2008, it was $883,701,000,000 in June 1, 2011 is $2,810,711,000,000. Notice the huge second blue which represents the M.B.S. That’s how the banks were saved, not with TARP because $700 billion wasn’t enough to save Citibank, B of A, GS, etc. Nobody speaks of how the Fed took the toxic assets from the banks because it was done under the radar. Only those who look at that stuff seem to know it. We own the Fed and it has been doing some nasty shit.

  4. The funny thing is that neither the Republicans or the Democrats say a word about how the Fed is screwing the taxpayers. Its balance sheet keeps growing as it gives out loans to the world. All it has is I.O.U.s, lots of them.

    • I really appreciate your facts about how this works. I still don’t understand it – and it’s clear I’m not meant to (it’s the way the system is designed) …

      I still don’t understand why it’s acceptable — respectable — for The Fed to bail out the banks at those levels.

      It still seems like a scandal to me.

  5. Wikipedia about “lender of last resort”

    In the United States the Federal Reserve serves as the lender of last resort to those institutions that cannot obtain credit elsewhere and the collapse of which would have serious implications for the economy. It took over this role from the private sector “clearing houses” which operated during the Free Banking Era; whether public or private, the availability of liquidity was intended to prevent bank runs.
    — snip
    Critics of the backing of institutions point to the ability of having a lender of last resort as a temptation for an institution to take on more risk. A lender of last resort provides a safety net to insulate the institution from the full consequences of their risk. The lender does not underwrite the consequences but it could be that business failure can be hidden for longer by the extension of credit.

  6. and they keep saying we aren’t Greece….but it’s not for lack of trying.

    The fed won’t fund medicare because it’s owners want it dead and gone and they want the SS money for themselves. Every trillion must be stolen

    See, banks are too large to fail

    however, it seems America isn’t

    • We should not confuse the Fed with the U.S. Treasury.

      The Fed is a bank. It’s the central bank that serves U.S. banks, and as we see from the audit, banks around the world. I’m not sure, but I think the Fed went beyond its authority to lend to banks outside the U.S.

      The U.S. Treasury is part of the government, and it’s the U.S. Treasury that borrows by issuing bonds to fund the government. It has issued U.S. Treasuries (bonds) to SS, Japan, China etc.

      • But somehow, the bonds we (the Treasury) issued to Social Security are worthless and the others are sacred obligations.

        • Exactly…for them there is no law….for us, however there is. It’s almost useless to say this or that is how it is…they make it up how it is and are reforming this nation daily as it suits them . There is no law that binds them in effect

        • Exactly!!!!!!!!!! Tails they win…heads we lose.

  7. The last president to bring the deficit to zero, was the original Democrat, President Andrew Jackson. He was called a jackass, that’s why the donkey is the symbol of the Democratic Party. He got rid of the national bank and put the U.S. Treasury in order.

  8. Nice catch, kbird.
    So, essentially, we are paying the gambling debts obligations for companies who wrote credit default swaps for wall street to cover bets that were made on subprime mortgage tranches. And those subprime mpreface “instruments” were sold to a lot of pension funds and mutual funds. So, we’re covering the finance industry’s butt for screwing the private pension market by taking money from the public retirement insurance. Is that just about right? Because if that’s what’s going on and the Democrats are going along with it, the s#%^ is going to hit the fan.

    • It’s more and more like a gigantic shell game … where we don’t know it but, it’s impossible for us to ‘win’ …. Our pensions? Our 401k’s ? Not nearly as important as a banker’s assets.

      I really don’t get why Democratic politicians think voters are going to go along with all this.

  9. The middle class is suffering, but blacks and Hispanics are even worse off with Obama. Blacks and Hispanics are voters who need to be motivated to go to the polls, and I don’t see Obama doing it in 2012. He’ll be a one termer.

    Study: Racial wealth gap biggest ever

    • He’ll be a one term wonder imo if those who installed him are finished with him. That can only be determined by who the GOP run…a Jeb type, they want him gone . A Bachmann type, they want Obama to be reinstalled.

    • Oh this is really chapping my hide today.

      You *know* that if the lady R candidates everyone loves to hate had offices in the White House and a bad piece of news for women came along, every liberal would tweet and post it to Facebook with LOOKIT WHAT THE STUPID BITCH DID! IT’S TOTES HER FAULT! But this item turned up twice in my Facebook feed, posted by good Obot sheeple who conveniently neglected to mention that this is happening on the watch our first president of color.

      Shakesville airily ascribed the difference to ‘privilege.’ No, Liss, it’s Barack Obama telling millions of people who supported and trusted him to go die because he has bankers to please. Privilege existed in the 90s too but the economic position of minorities improved during that time. Christ, the hypocrisy of Obama-supporting liberals knows no bounds.

  10. Thank you for this important post, Katiebird. We all need to understand where the money went. We had a “windfall profits” tax on oil companies in the 1980’s: I think we should have the same thing for financial services companies until what they owe the American people is paid back — with interest!


  11. This whole debt ceiling nonsense is just an excuse to raise interest rates because the big men must want them raised. Seriously, they keep saying if nothing is done interest rates will shoot up. So ask yourselves who would benefit from high interest rates and that is who is controlling our government. What I don’t get is we The People loaned these Ivy League Mafia bankers money and bailed them out when they ran their “too big to fail” scam. So now these same group of bankers is going to lower the credit rating of our country?! Interest rates rise and they can continue screwing us. This is Bullshit and these Ivy League Mafia types need to be dumped.

    • They’re probably set up to profit either way. Invest in one country or another. It’s like tidal power: you got some when the tide goes up and another when it goes down.

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