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Federal Reserve Audit: $16 Trillion in loans over 3 years

Yep, $16 Trillion. Or maybe, less?

(or was it $1 T? This guy doesn’t explain his numbers, but REALLY? Only $1 Trillion?)

Thursday, the Government Accounting Office released its review, “Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Policies and Processes for Managing Emergency Assistance” of the accounts of the Federal Reserve Bank’s books from December 2007 through July, 2011. (Some were credit lines never used, some were paid back. As far as I can tell from page 4, there’s $956 Billion still outstanding.  But I’m a doctor, not an accountant.)And some went to foreign-based subsidiaries of US institutions in Switzerland, France, Germany, Scotland, Britain, and Belgium.The GAO report, “Federal Reserve System: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Policies and Processes for Managing Emergency Assistance, ” is here.

Why GAO Did This Study:
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act directed GAO to conduct a one-time audit of the emergency loan programs and other assistance authorized by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve Board) during the recent financial crisis. 

The GAO criticized the Fed’s reluctance to explain all of it’s reasoning about the emergencies. There’s also criticism about the way that Timothy Geithner, then-Chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, gave waivers and allowed no-contract bids for entities hired to help arrange the Emergency loans. One of those waivers went to a man who had interest in AIG, and is now the President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, replacing Geithner when the latter moved to DC to take over the Treasury Department.

(I’m thinking they were really scared and doing the best they could at the time.) (But, again, I’m a doctor, not an accountant.)

(That first table is an adaptation of the pdf from CNBC. The second is from the GAO report, page 40.)

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