Senator Bernie Sanders has presented some jaw-dropping facts about the financial bailout at Huffpo. He frames his article by mentioning that back in 2009, when he asked Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to identify the institutions that received a backdoor bailout from the Fed, he refused. Sanders refused to accept that answer. Instead, he worked hard to force an amendment into the “Wall Street Reform” bill, and we now know some of the startling things Bernanke refused to admit:
After years of stonewalling by the Fed, the American people are finally learning the incredible and jaw-dropping details of the Fed’s multi-trillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street and corporate America . . .
We have learned that the $700 billion Wall Street bailout signed into law by President George W. Bush turned out to be pocket change compared to the trillions and trillions of dollars in near-zero interest loans and other financial arrangements the Federal Reserve doled out to every major financial institution in this country. Among those are Goldman Sachs, which received nearly $600 billion; Morgan Stanley, which received nearly $2 trillion; Citigroup, which received $1.8 trillion; Bear Stearns, which received nearly $1 trillion, and Merrill Lynch, which received some $1.5 trillion in short term loans from the Fed.
We also learned that the Fed’s multi-trillion bailout was not limited to Wall Street and big banks, but that some of the largest corporations in this country also received a very substantial bailout. Among those are General Electric, McDonald’s, Caterpillar, Harley Davidson, Toyota and Verizon.
Perhaps most surprising is the huge sum that went to bail out foreign private banks and corporations including two European megabanks — Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse — which were the largest beneficiaries of the Fed’s purchase of mortgage-backed securities.
Sanders has written a blistering piece in which he argues that the biggest banks padded their own executive’s pockets, refused to lend to small businesses, used near-zero interest loans they obtained from the Fed to buy Treasury securities and that they continued to gouge consumers through high credit card fees. He suggests that those banks that received this corporate welfare could also have used this money to work out mortgage loans. He is aghast at the conflicts of interest.
I am so relieved to know that we have at least one politician who is willing to shoot straight with the American people.