“As a result of this audit, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world,” Sanders said in a statement. “This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.” – Washington Post
Dominant Social Theme: Simply a glitch. The US$16 trillion was issued in good faith by the stewards of the democracy. They were saving the “system.” What, you didn’t get any of it? Maybe next time …
Free-Market Analysis: With nary a ripple in the mainstream press, the US Government Accountability Office has released an “audit” of the Federal Reserve loan program in 2008 that, according to the Washington Post (see above excerpt) highlights possible conflicts of interest in the issuance of some US$16 trillion. We would bet it’s more than that.
The GAO found two things wrong with the “bailout.” First of all there were conflicts of interest; second, in making the determination that an emergency bailout was called for, the Fed’s leaders imputed powers that probably were not really there. They acted like an entirely private enterprise even though they clearly are not.
The GAO made recommendations that the Fed’s top men are vowing to take seriously. But this is a joke. An institution that has in the past several years printed some US$20 trillion or more (including QE 1 and 2) – and no one really knows how much higher it is – is not going to voluntarily limit itself or its actions based on bureaucratic recommendations.
In fact, without the agitation of people like libertarian-conservative Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), there would have been no audit to begin with. It wasn’t something the Fed sought. Even so, the US mainstream press is not exactly providing aggressive coverage. It’s not of great import, apparently. That’s certainly the dominant social theme.
Read the whole story here.