The Fed Dished Out $16 Trillion in Emergency Lending

The GAO has completed its Dodd-Frank mandated one-time audit of the Fed's lending during the financial crisis, and the results, while filling us in on more of how the Fed operated, remind us of the need for Congress to have the power to audit the Fed more than just one time.

Via The Raw Story:

The U.S. Federal Reserve gave out $16.1 trillion in emergency loans to U.S. and foreign financial institutions between Dec. 1, 2007 and July 21, 2010, according to figures produced by the government's first-ever audit of the central bank....

Of the $16.1 trillion loaned out, $3.08 trillion went to financial institutions in the U.K., Germany, Switzerland, France and Belgium, the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) analysis shows....

The report also revealed that the Fed made asset swap arrangements with countries including the U.K., Canada, Brazil, and South Korea.

In addition:

The audit also found that the Fed mostly outsourced its lending operations to the very financial institutions which sparked the crisis to begin with, and that they delegated contracts largely on a no-bid basis.

Read the rest.

While the GAO can make recommendations about how the Fed can be better run, the government cannot enforce them.  It's entirely up to Bernanke and co., so we know how that story will end.

A Fed audit was only included in Dodd-Frank because of the pressure generated by Campaign for Liberty members.  While this one-time audit is certainly historic, it is by no means enough, and we must continue our work to require total accountability from the Fed.  Legislators sold us out at the last second during the battle over what kind of an audit to include in the bill, but this report should remove any future excuses or cover for them.

Please sign our Audit the Fed petition if you have not yet done so.  And be sure to spread the word about Campaign for Liberty's efforts!

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