Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Government by Stealth

The joke is that Obama came to power promising "transparency", but the behaviour of the Federal Reserve under him is anything but transparency. Only now do people know that the Fed created $1.2 trillion to support Wall Street banks. From an article on Huffington Post:
During the 2008 financial crisis, when the nation's banking system seemed on the verge of collapse, President George W. Bush authorized a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry. The U.S. Treasury implemented that program, known as TARP, in an effort to stave off economic catastrophe.

At the same time, and in the years that followed, the Federal Reserve was undertaking its own rescue operation, in the form of private, previously undisclosed loans to banks and other institutions -- lending as much as $1.2 trillion, nearly twice the amount of the Treasury bailout, according to a data analysis performed by Bloomberg News and published on Monday.

The scope of the Fed's private lending had previously only been guessed at, but figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Bloomberg News show that the nation's central banker issued loans to more than 300 institutions between August 2007 and April 2010, including over 100 loans of $1 billion or more.

While the Fed's loans likely helped to prevent a complete implosion of the global banking system, analysts say they fear the loans may have contributed to an atmosphere of complacency on Wall Street. Banks that received emergency cash infusions during the crisis may now believe the Fed will always be there to bail them out of trouble, the thinking goes.
Despite the pledge of "transparency", the Obama administration did not willingly release all these back room big dollar deals:
Given the extraordinary size of the loans, the public has a right to know what happened, said David Jones, an executive professor at the Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University.

"It's completely valid at some point to say, 'Who did the borrowing?'" Jones told The Huffington Post. "It was appropriate, under this special set of circumstances, to divulge the information."

Among the largest borrowers were Bank of America, which borrowed $91.4 billion; Goldman Sachs, which was in debt for $69 billion; JPMorgan Chase, which borrowed $68.6 billion; Citigroup, which borrowed $99.5 billion and Morgan Stanley, the biggest borrower of all, to which the Fed loaned $107 billion.

In addition, the Fed issued sizable loans to a number of foreign banks, including the Royal Bank of Scotland, which borrowed $84.5 billion; Credit Suisse Group, which borrowed $60.8 billion and Germany's Deutsche Bank, to which the Fed lent $66 billion. Nearly half of the 30 largest borrowers were European firms, according to Bloomberg News.
Together with TARP, this represents $2 trillion to save the top 1%. Where was the money to save the bottom 90%. Obama simply turned his back. If this money had been used to create jobs $2 trillion would have created 100 million jobs paying $20,000. The official unemployed is only 14 million and only 25 million if you include the under-employed and discouraged. For 25 million, these funds represent an annual salary of $80,000 or 4 years of federal government sponsored work at $20,000. That would have saved the country. Something the $2 trillion didn't do!

Shame on Obama.

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