Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Taibbi: Fed audit reveals jaw-dropping details

"Now, following an act of Congress that has forced the Fed to open its books from the bailout era, this unofficial [Fed Reserve] budget is for the first time becoming at least partially a matter of public record. Staffers in the Senate and the House, whose queries about Fed spending have been rebuffed for nearly a century, are now poring over 21,000 transactions and discovering a host of outrages and lunacies in the 'other' budget. It is as though someone sat down and made a list of every individual on earth who actually did not need emergency financial assistance from the United States government, and then handed them the keys to the public treasure. The Fed sent billions in bailout aid to banks in places like Mexico, Bahrain and Bavaria, billions more to a spate of Japanese car companies, more than $2 trillion in loans each to Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, and billions more to a string of lesser millionaires and billionaires with Cayman Islands addresses. 'Our jaws are literally dropping as we're reading this,' says Warren Gunnels, an aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. 'Every one of these transactions is outrageous.'"

Why is the Federal Reserve forking over $220 million in bailout money to the wives of two Morgan Stanley bigwigs?

By Matt Taibbi
April 12, 2011 | Rolling Stone

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