Thursday, April 7, 2011

New Records Reveal Extent of Fed's Reach During Financial Crisis

The latest data -- nearly 900 files totaling 25,000 pages that were released on a CD -- reveal which banks and financial institutions borrowed from the Fed's "discount window" between August 2007 and March 2010 -- and just how much.

The discount window is the oldest mechanism used by the Fed and other central banks for providing emergency loans to banks in need. The Fed itself refers to it as "a safety valve in relieving pressures" and that was certainly true in the weeks after the financial crisis reached its greatest panic. At one point in October 2008, the central bank loaned out more than $110 billion through the discount window.

It's not the first time the Fed has revealed much of what it did.

In December, it was obligated to reveal how it had spread more than $3 trillion throughout the economy.

For example, just days before Washington Mutual would be seized by the FDIC and largely sold to JPMorgan Chase, it borrowed $2 billion from the Fed.

This evening, Sen. Bernie Sanders, a frequent critic of the Fed, found a connection to Libya. In a statement, Sanders asked why the Fed lent more than $3 billion during the crisis to the Arab Banking Corp, of which the Central Bank of Libya owns a 59 percent stake.

No comments:

Post a Comment