Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lawmakers, Investors Ask Fed for Lending Disclosure

The Fed and Treasury Department stubbornly play it "close to the vest"

Per Bloomberg.com:

Lawmakers, Investors Ask Fed for Lending Disclosure

A few excerpts from this morning's story:
Nov. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Members of Congress, taxpayers and investors urged the Federal Reserve to provide details of almost $2 trillion in emergency loans and the collateral it has accepted to protect against losses.
At least five Republican members of Congress yesterday called for the Fed to disclose which financial institutions are borrowing taxpayer money and what troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral. More than 300 more investors and taxpayers also pressed for more disclosure in e-mails and interviews with Bloomberg News.
"There cannot be accountability in government and in our financial institutions without transparency,'' Texas Senator John Cornyn said in a statement. "Many of the financial problems we are facing today are the direct result of too much secrecy and too little accountability.''
House Republican Leader John Boehner and Republican Representatives Jeb Hensarling of Texas, Scott Garrett of New Jersey and Walter Jones of North Carolina also are pressing Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke to elaborate on the Fed's emergency lending. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in September they would comply with congressional demands for transparency in the separate $700 billion bailout of the banking system that was approved by Congress last month.
The Fed claims this requested info is "confidential." And no... we are NOT making this up. Read the article linked above.

No disclosure demands yet from Democratic side of the legislative aisle... so far. Hmmmm.....

Today's story also reveals that the lumpencitizens are raising hell too. This from one LSU perfessor:
Not knowing which banks are in trouble shuts down the entire credit market said Joseph Mason, a banking professor at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
If you don't know where the losses are, it's rational to pull back from the whole system,'' Mason said. "I've heard the argument that government shouldn't pick winners or losers. Duh. That's what bank examiners and regulators do. Tell us where the losses are and there won't be a panic."
We think it's high time for our congresscritters to get off their lazy derrieres and do something about this. Professor Mason and Senator Cornyn are right. It was a lack of transparency in the banking industry that caused the current economic meltdown in the first place, innit? And now the FED and U.S. Treasury are compounding the financial markets "confidence problem" by repeating the same boneheaded blunders -- this time with our taxpayer dollars?

According to awesome internet watchdog bailoutsleuth.com, by the way, the current taxpayer price tag for the secret 2008 banking industry bailout is now at least $2.46 trillion; and according to yesterday's Forbes online story, U.S. lumpencitizen bagholders may actually be on the hook in excess of $5 Trillion! And most of this is occurring in secret, hooboy.

$5 Trillion here, $5 Trillion there... pretty soon we'll be talking about REAL money, we guess...

Don't let the cat get your tongues.

6 comments:

Spellin Pohlice said...

Um, it's spelt perfesser, Rudi.

googleboy said...

Bailout Lacks Oversight Despite Billions Pledged

Monotreme said...

John Huntsman for President?

It's not too early for 2012, is it?

Curmudgeon said...

Monotreme:

Huntsman is completely unqualified to be the GOP nominee. But he has four years. I'm sure he can learn to field dress a moose by then.

sick sue said...

Thanks for the heads up on bailout.sleuth.com.

Definitely worth the read. But keep a throw-up bucket handy.

toe tapper said...

I like Huntsman when he wears his red super sweet sweater tied around his shoulders.

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