Secret Fed Loans Gave Banks $13 Billion Undisclosed to Congress

Terrific investigative reporting by Bob Ivry, Bradley Keoun, and Phil Kuntz for Bloomberg:

The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing.

The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue.

Effectively, the Fed was selling dollar bills for 97 cents. Not to me, not to you, of course. Only to the big banks.

Monday, 5 December 2011