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Ex-Im Bank Dies (For Now)

Last night, Congress' authorization for the Export-Import Bank (more aptly called the Bank of Boeing) expired. The bank, which provides taxpayer-backed loans to foreign companies buying American products made by some of the country's largest corporations, will now move into liquidation mode. Tim Carney at The Washington Examiner, who has reported tirelessly on this subject explains what happens next:

The federal agency, which subsidizes U.S. exporters and lenders through taxpayer-backed financing to foreign companies and governments, officially enters liquidation.

Legally, Ex-Im's officers, employees and board members must cease their typical work of subsidizing Boeing, J.P. Morgan and Chinese state-owned enterprises. Instead, under the law that authorized it, Ex-Im is allowed to exist only "for purposes of orderly liquidation, including the administration of its assets and the collection of any obligations held by the bank."

U.S. taxpayers are exposed to more than $100 billion in outstanding Ex-Im loans, guarantees and credit insurance, and agency employees are allowed to administer and collect the outstanding money and fees. But, if the words "orderly liquidation" hold their normal meaning, Ex-Im is also supposed to sell off its assets — that is, it should dump its loans into the private sector, and hand the cash over to the Treasury.

This is a huge win for those who oppose corporatism and crony capitalism. Ex-Im is nothing more than corporate welfare for big business. However, with so much money at stake for one of the nation's most powerful lobby, big business, Campaign for Liberty member should stay tuned to make sure that Congress doesn't try to reauthorize Ex-Im.


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