Forget about the $700 billion dollars in federal aid known as TARP that went to the banksters back in 2008, says Thom Hartmann. That was just the tip of the iceberg. According to new secret documents recently released by the Federal Reserve, between 2007 and this year, the Fed pumped more than $3 trillion into the hands of banks and businesses, to stave off financial collapse. Most of that money came in the form of short term lending -- banks were given billions of dollars at near zero-percent interest rates, which is essentially free money, insofar as the banks can then turn right around and buy Treasury bonds (from the same government that just loaned them the money at virtually zero-percent interest rates) so that they can then began to collect something like 4% return on investment -- or more if they decide to gamble in the credit markets or the stock market. This then is a cleverly disguised multi-billion dollar give-away, or theft, from us to them.
So who, specifically, benefited from this secret low-interest lending program by the Fed? The usual suspects: Citigroup, Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch. "Well connected" foreign banks took advantage too -" banks like UBS of Switzerland and BNP Paribas of France. Also, American businesses like McDonalds, Verizon, GE, and Caterpillar received some of the cake as well. Suntrust Bank received about $7.5 billion, and received it directly from their own CEO, who just happened to also be serving on the Board of Directors at the Atlanta Federal Reserve at the time! At the height of this secret low-interest lending program -- in 2008 -- the Fed had made over $1.5 trillion in outstanding loans of this kind. This then is a cleverly disguised multi-billion dollar give-away, or theft, from us to them.
The release of these documents, showing more than 21,000 transactions unknown until now, highlights the need for a more transparent Federal Reserve, which is of course an issue that's been advanced by members of Congress like Ron Paul in the House and Bernie Sanders in the Senate. It also shows just how strong Wall Street's grip on our government is.
Banksters profited off this program and now sit on mountains of cash, to no small extent as a result of this until-now secret wealth transference program.
Meanwhile small businesses suffer around the country and can't get the loans they desperately need, which in ordinary times they would certainly get. And the very same financial institutions that received loans at an interest rate of less than a half percent, are now charging their credit card users 30% interest to borrow some of that money back! And their lobbyists are doing everything they can to crush Elizabeth Warren's new baby in its cradle. I refer of course the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency that President Obama as tasked her with setting up. The banksters know that the success of this agency, especially if it stays in her hands, will cost them hundreds of billions of dollars in lost profits -" profits which they would be able to continue squeezing out of unprotected and unwary consumers should her new agency somehow be scuttled, sidetracked, or otherwise be made to fail.
Banksters spend many millions of dollars each year lobbying Congress in opposition to financial reform, with much of that lobbying money borrowed at near-zero percent interest from the Fed.
All this is, from the point of view of the society as a whole, nothing less than insanity.
Bubble economy thievery and Tea Party blindness to it