Santa Claus Is In Town! [Reader Post]


Obviously for some, although Christmas and the goodies are a couple of weeks away, the goodies are already flowing out of the Federal Reserve and a turn around and tell the taxpayer to be damned. This thought this money belongs to the taxpayers but “Notwithstanding calls for enhanced transparency, the Board must protect against the substantial, multiple harms that might result from disclosure,” what the hell? $2 Trillion and we can’t be told to whom it was, is being, given to? It appears the goodies are being doled out while attention is elsewhere: low gas, Blago, etc etc, but Bloomberg is apparently on the hunt…..


The Federal Reserve refused a request by Bloomberg News to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion of emergency loans from U.S. taxpayers and the assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.

Bloomberg filed suit Nov. 7 under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act requesting details about the terms of 11 Fed lending programs, most created during the deepest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

The Fed responded Dec. 8, saying it’s allowed to withhold internal memos as well as information about trade secrets and commercial information. The institution confirmed that a records search found 231 pages of documents pertaining to some of the requests.

“If they told us what they held, we would know the potential losses that the government may take and that’s what they don’t want us to know,” said Carlos Mendez, a senior managing director at New York-based ICP Capital LLC, which oversees $22 billion in assets.

The Fed stepped into a rescue role that was the original purpose of the Treasury’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. The central bank loans don’t have the oversight safeguards that Congress imposed upon the TARP.

Total Fed lending exceeded $2 trillion for the first time Nov. 6. It rose by 138 percent, or $1.23 trillion, in the 12 weeks since Sept. 14, when central bank governors relaxed collateral standards to accept securities that weren’t rated AAA.

‘Been Bamboozled’

Congress is demanding more transparency from the Fed and Treasury on bailout, most recently during Dec. 10 hearings by the House Financial Services committee when Representative David Scott, a Georgia Democrat, said Americans had “been bamboozled.”

Bloomberg News, a unit of New York-based Bloomberg LP, on May 21 asked the Fed to provide data on collateral posted from April 4 to May 20. The central bank said on June 19 that it needed until July 3 to search documents and determine whether it would make them public. Bloomberg didn’t receive a formal response that would let it file an appeal within the legal time limit.

On Oct. 25, Bloomberg filed another request, expanding the range of when the collateral was posted. It filed suit Nov. 7.

In response to Bloomberg’s request, the Fed said the U.S. is facing “an unprecedented crisis” in which “loss in confidence in and between financial institutions can occur with lightning speed and devastating effects.”

Data Provider

The Fed supplied copies of three e-mails in response to a request that it disclose the identities of those supplying data on collateral as well as their contracts.

While the senders and recipients of the messages were revealed, the contents were erased except for two phrases identifying a vendor as “IDC.” One of the e-mails’ subject lines refers to “Interactive Data — Auction Rate Security Advisory May 1, 2008.”

Brian Willinsky, a spokesman for Bedford, Massachusetts- based Interactive Data Corp., a seller of fixed-income securities information, declined to comment.

“Notwithstanding calls for enhanced transparency, the Board must protect against the substantial, multiple harms that might result from disclosure,” Jennifer J. Johnson, the secretary for the Fed’s Board of Governors, said in a letter e-mailed to Bloomberg News.

Read the rest here.

Goodness, I struggle to mail in that hefty check every April that is like a grain of sand on the seashore compared to this kind of money….feel a little disgusted right now…..don’t hold it against me.

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The $700 Billion bail-out (plus pork) has now risen to $2 Trillion and the Federal Reserve refuses to say where the money went? Yep, so much for transparency. Of course, the Federal Reserve is not really an entity of our actual government anyway. They were not created by our Constitution and doesn’t truly fall under any of branches of our government. Do the research, you’ll find I’m right.

So I’m not really surprised. You see, because of all of the above, our FOIA doesn’t apply to them. Checkmate on us. The American taxpayers became committed and become beholden to them by our legislators to throw money their way and they don’t have to tell us crap. And there were conditions within the bill that could be twisted to make the withdraws unlimited. Neat trick there huh?

Rocky B:’
That’s exactly right. I did the research a long time ago. The Federal Reserve (not a ‘Federal’ and not a ‘reserve’, per se, but a group of member banks where all the money is deposited, not beholden to the taxpayers, and see no reason to comply with transparency requests.

For every 10 taxpayers, how many do you think believe that the ‘Federal’ Reserve is a part of the Federal government? I would guess at least 9.