Wotka World Wide

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Freedom of Information Act requests combined with new reporting requirements in the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Bill have finally forced the Federal Reserve to reveal the extent of emergency discount window loans of funds to troubled banks. And it turns out they loaned out nearly twice the amount of the TARP bailouts, $1.2 trillion, during the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009. There were huge payments to the usual US banking behemoths, but also to many of the large banks in Europe that likely would have gone under without these funds. Even the major brokerages got huge loans, which apparently kept Morgan Stanley afloat in the weeks after Lehman Brothers collapse. Left unanswered is why Lehman wasn't extended the same courtesy... I wonder why certain firms were loaned tens of billions, while others were allowed to collapse. Maybe the Fed did the right thing here, but then why the hell were they picking winners and losers to such a large degree? Saving Morgan and Goldman while letting Baer Stearns and Lehman go, saving RBS, UBS and SocGen while permitting the major banks (and economies) of Iceland and Ireland to collapse, bailing out Citi and BofA above and beyond the TARP funds while Washingon Mutual and others were allowed to go under. Will we ever get answers to these questions? Or is it just simply who was politically connected? Hopefully at some point we will get an insider's account of who made these decisions and how they were made.

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