4 Jan 2012

The scale of bank hand-outs in the USA

One slight criticism of Michel Rocard and Pierre Larrouturou's excellent piece in Le Monde is that they didn't provide the source of the $1200 billion number for Federal Reserve lending to banks. One of the original Bloomberg articles is this article published on November 28th. Ben Bernanke (Chairman of the Federal Reserve) complained, but Bloomberg replied on the 7th of December.

But my eye was attracted by one comment on the 28th November article which says :
Bloomberg draws its information from the Government Accountability Office's report from July 2011 entitled "Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Policies and Processes for Managing Emergency Assistance."

In the report, on page 131, a table breaking down the loans that were issued by the Federal Reserve between December 1, 2007 - July 21, 2010 reports that $16.115 Trillion USD were provided to the major banks that dominate the US and Western Europe's financial core: Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, BofA, Barclay's (UK), Bear Stearns and Goldman Sachs being the largest recipients, in order.
Good Grief!! The Fed printed 16.1 trillion dollars for the major banks! I suppose we should be grateful that the ECB has only printed 489 billion euros....


  1.  Hi Simon,
    you might be as well interested by the following link from Bloomberg, showing the data they used and how they made the calculations : http://bit.ly/Bloomberg-Fed-Data

  2. Thanks Coretin!

    I had a quick look at the files - wow! The jounalists at Bloomberg sure have been busy. I wonder if they could ask the ECB  where their money went too! See the reply that I just got from them when I asked where the 479 billion euros they handed out to 523 banks on December 21 went...