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Federal Reserve Questionable Bailout

Federal Reserve Questionable Bailout - The Federal Reserve Board has pulled back the curtain on the companies that took advantage of its short-term loans and other emergency programs that it set up during the financial crisis.

The Fed on Wednesday posted on a public website details of 21,000 transactions from December 2007 through July 2010 that totaled more than $3 trillion.

The help was provided not only to giant banks such as Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., but also to companies such as General Electric Co., Caterpillar Inc. and Harley-Davidson Inc. The Fed said its aim most often was to provide them with liquidity — that is, to keep them from running out of cash — when the private credit markets froze up.

Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), who wrote the measure that forced the disclosures, accused the central bank of conducting a secret "backdoor bailout" of big banks and corporations. The program dwarfed the much-criticized $700-billion Treasury Department program to bail out banks, automakers and the giant insurer American International Group Inc., he said.

Sanders said the Fed should have forced banks receiving assistance to step up lending to small businesses and to ease credit for consumers. By not doing so, it provided "corporate welfare," he said.

He said the Fed's disclosures were "jaw-dropping," especially details of numerous transactions with foreign financial institutions such as Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, which had been huge players in the beaten-down market for mortgage-backed securities.

Federal Reserve Questionable Bailout


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