While Bloomberg has done a tremendous job of digging through 29,346 pages of FOIA data, its discovery is not at all surprising: that Wall Street's (not to mention the rest of the world's) biggest banks received a total of $1.2 trillion in previously secret Fed loans, in addition to the trillions in public backstops and loans from the US Treasury. As a reminder, "denominated in $1 bills, the $1.2 trillion would fill 539 Olympic-size swimming pools." The best summary of this ongoing collusion between the Fed and Wall Street, in which it once again for the nth time becomes clear that all the Fed cars about is making sure its banking masters are never impaired, is from the article itself: "Even as the firms asserted in news releases or earnings calls that they had ample cash, they drew Fed funding in secret, avoiding the stigma of weakness." And there you have it: everything that come out of Wall Street is and has always been a lie: either courtesy of 30 years of great interest rate moderation, in which only cheap money adds to banks' top and bottom lines, or due to the Fed making sure the same banks never suffer a dollar loss when central planning fails, such as it does increasingly often lately (and forget about 10(b)-5 violation charges coming from the corrupt regulators: after all they are all in bed together). That Morgan Stanley, Dexia and Citi are, and have been since 2008, dead men walking, is by now known to all financially literate readers: additional confirmation can be found in the Bloomberg article, which we won't paraphrase because it has all been said over and over. That said, Bloomberg has done a great visual interactive chart summary of who got what, when, how much, over peak and average metrics and so forth. We urge readers to play around with it (don't worry, it won't break the banks; and if it does the Fed will secretly bail them out again) and every time they consider putting money into our "solvent" financial system.
All the more relevant today, now that Moody's has downgraded Wells Fargo and Citi on concerns that the Fed will withdraw bailout support.
Update: Hearing has been delayed until 3 pm.
While we await to find and bring to our readers the channel that will carry today's hearing between the House Financial Services Committee on the topic of "Federal Reserve Lending Disclosure: FOIA, Dodd-Frank, and the Data Dump" chaired by Ron Paul and Fed and NY Fed General Counsels, Thomas C. Baxter, Jr., and Scott G. Alvarez, below we present their prepared testimony that was just released by the New York Fed. The key section from the testimony: "We remain concerned that a more rapid release of information about borrowers accessing the discount window and emergency lending facilities could impair the ability of the Federal Reserve to provide the liquidity needed to ensure the smooth working of the financial system. If institutions believe that publication of their use of Federal Reserve lending facilities will impair public confidence in the institution, then institutions may choose not to participate in these facilities. Experience has shown that banks’ unwillingness to use the discount window can result in more volatile short-term interest rates and reduced financial market liquidity that, in turn, can contribute to declining asset prices and reduced lending to consumers and small businesses." Luckily, courtesy of $1.6 trillion in excess reserves, and the stigma now associated with Discount Window borrowings, for everyone except for Dexia, we doubt the Fed will ever have to worry about the discount window before the banking kleptoracy blows itself up once again.
For all Zero Hedge readers who have long waited for their chance to ask Mr. Scott Alvarez of "Have The Federal Reserve Or Prime Brokers Ever Tried To Manipulate The Stock Market?" fame a question about life, the universe or why the CME decides to hike ES margins in an environment of rising realized vol, here it is. Tomorrow, at 2PM, Ron Paul will lead a hearing by the Financial Services Committee, which will luckily be carried by C-SPAN meaning one will be actually able to hear the dialog (alas, the House continues to believe that investing in microphones for their internal webcasts is a bad idea), titled: "Federal Reserve Lending Disclosure: FOIA, Dodd-Frank, and the Data Dump." The witnesses will be Mr. Thomas C. Baxter, Jr., General Counsel, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the one and only Scott G. Alvarez, General Counsel, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. While the usual heeming and hawing will follow each and every question, what is unique about this session is that the FSC actually allows anyone to submit questions for the honorable lawyers. The link to submit questions is here: we urge Zero Hedge readers to take advantage of this opportunity and have Mr. Paul read their questions to the two general counsels, even if no legible answers will be (ever) forthcoming.
The Fed Does It Again: $80 Billion Secretive "Bank Subsidy" Program Uncovered, Providing Bank Loans At 0.01% InterestSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/26/2011 08:11 -0400
The Fed does it again. Following consistent allegations that the Federal Reserve operates in an opaque world, whose each and every action has only had a purpose of serving its Wall Street masters, led to repeated lawsuits which went so far as to get the Chairsatan to promise he would be more transparent, Bloomberg's Bob Ivry breaks news that between March and December 2008 the Fed operated a previously undisclosed lending program, whose terms were nothing short of a subsidy to banks. Says Ivry: "The $80 billion initiative, called single-tranche open- market
operations, or ST OMO, made 28-day loans from March through December
2008, a period in which confidence in global credit markets collapsed
after the Sept. 15 bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Units of 20 banks were required to bid at auctions for the cash. They
paid interest rates as low as 0.01 percent that December, when the Fed’s
main lending facility charged 0.5 percent." 0.01% interest is also known by one other name: "outright subsidy." It doesn't get any freer than that: 0.01% interest on one month cash. Just how close to a complete implosion was the financial system if 0.5% interest seemed too high? Not surprisingly, this program was widely used: "Credit Suisse Group AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc each borrowed at least $30 billion in 2008 from a Federal Reserve emergency lending program whose details weren’t revealed to shareholders, members of Congress or the public...Goldman Sachs, led by Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein,
tapped the program most in December 2008, when data on the New York Fed
website show the loans were least expensive. The lowest winning
bid at an ST OMO auction declined to 0.01 percent on Dec. 30, 2008, New
York Fed data show. At the time, the rate charged at the discount
window was 0.5 percent." Yes, that Goldman Sachs. The same one that perjured itself when it said before the FCIC that it only used de minimis emergency borrowings. Just how many more top secret taxpayer subsidies will emerge were being used by the Fed to keep the kleptocratic status quo in charge?
A rehash of an old story. Answer this question and you seal the fate of the Fed.
It turns out that public and private US corporations aren't the only ones cooking their books, and that PricewaterhouseCoopers' consent can be easily purchased. Here is an excerpt from the Fed's 1999 minutes confirming that the books at America's central bank have been "fudged" on at least one occasion: "The Board’s staff and our accounting function at the New York Fed have worked out an accounting treatment to correct for both the $5 million and the $26.6 million errors. That involves reducing the accrued interest asset account by the entire $31.6 million, with an offsetting reduction in interest income on foreign currency investments. We will make that adjustment before the end of the year and spread it among all the Reserve Banks. Of course, for all of us with responsibilities for SOMA this is an embarrassing, indeed humbling, event. As a technical matter, though, I understand that PricewaterhouseCoopers is comfortable with the conclusion of both our accounting and audit function and the Board staff that this is not a material event for purposes of disclosure for any Reserve Bank." Perhaps PwC can come out, unsolicited for now, and disclose just how many other such borderline disclosable events it may have encountered while helping the Fed cooks it books in the past several decades?
Tired of poring through thousands of PDF files from the Fed's Bloomberg FOIA release? Curious why Ron Paul said that he "was surprised and deeply disturbed ... to learn the
staggering amount of money that went to foreign banks" and is planning to hold a hearing over emergency loans to the branches of non-U.S.
banks? Then here is the excel file for you: the following publicly shared google docs spreadsheet contains the complete Discount Window loan origination data from March 14, 2008 through March 16, 2009. We offer it so that anyone who wishes to perform their own analysis on the primary data can do so (and needless to say banks noted as FORI in the markstat entity type are foreign borrowers).
Final Count: Pittman Wins, Fed Loses, As Supreme Court Refuses To Grant Confidential Data Disclosure Appeal Sought By BanksSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/21/2011 10:43 -0400
In a crushing blow against the Fed and the banks that own it, in this case represented by the Clearing House Association, the Supreme Court rejected an industry appeal set forth by the CHA, that sought to keep critical bailout data from going public. The lawsuit was originally started by the great and late Mark Pittman, who tragically passed away around Thanksgiving 2009: we are confident we would be delighted to learn that his unprecedented act of suing the Fed in order to generate more transparency has finally succeeded. From Matt Winkler: " "At some point long before the credit markets seized up in 2007, financial markets collapsed and the economy plunged into the worst recession since the 1930s, the Federal Reserve forgot that it is the central bank for the people of the United States and not a private academy where decisions of great importance may be withheld from public scrutiny. As only Congress has the constitutional power to coin money, Congress delegates that power to the Fed and the Fed must be accountable to Congress, especially in disclosing what it does with the people's money."
The purpose of this article – it’s an attempt to bring some transparency to what’s really happening in the precious metals complex by underscoring the words and actions of players in the Central Banking community. Attention is drawn to the fact that these elitists lie as a matter of policy but are prone to making simple mistakes like all humans do. Specifically, light is shone on the degree to which these same elitists will go to keep their surreptitious market activities ‘secret’ and their irredeemable fiat currencies viable.
And so the spirit of Mark Pittman lives on. Bloomberg, which last year sued the Fed in a landmark FOIA case, and won (a decision which is being appealed by the kleptocrats but not the Fed), has decided to go transatlantic, and is now suing that smaller and far less viagraed cousin of the Fed, the ECB. Per Bloomberg: "The lawsuit asks the European Union’s General Court in Luxembourg to overturn a decision by the ECB not to disclose two internal documents drafted for the central bank’s six-member executive board in Frankfurt this year. The notes show how Greece used swaps to hide its borrowings, according to a March 3 cover page attached to the papers obtained by Bloomberg News. ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet withheld the documents after the EU and International Monetary Fund led a 110 billion- euro bailout ($144 billion) for Greece. The dossier should be disclosed to stop governments from employing the derivatives in a similar way again and to show how EU authorities acted on information they had on the swaps, according to the suit, filed by Bloomberg Finance LP, the parent of Bloomberg News." And for all those who were concerned that Mutual Assured Destruction is purely a US response to a rat being cornered, it appears the virus has gone airborne: "The information contained in the two documents would
undermine the public confidence as regards the effective conduct
of economic policy,” Trichet wrote in an Oct. 21 letter,
turning down Bloomberg’s request for the documents. Disclosure
“bears, in the current very vulnerable market environment, the
substantial and acute risk of adding to volatility and
instability.” Hello, McFly... We got the impression that PGBs moving 350 bps in two hours after Trichet's own bucket shop of a central bank decided to buy every single outstanding bond in the open market may be a far more potent reason for market "volatility." As for undermining confidence, perhaps this murder of charlatans should have considered that before they set off on the world's most ridiculous pilgrimage to the gods of lies, hubris, deceit, market manipulation and propaganda. Lastly, as this is merely a "protect Goldman" exercise, which as everyone knows is the main party involved in this Greek swap "transaction" - who cares: everyone in the world knows full well the high ethical standards of the West 200-based hedge fund.
FINRA oversees the broker dealers, and 70% are calling for increased transparency. FINRA blew them off. Those 70% represent America more than the large banks located on Wall Street. What truly amazes me is how little attention is being paid to this outfit.
It’s now two years later, Bloomberg has won at both the U.S. District Court and the Second Circuit Appeals Court and the information is still being withheld.
Yesterday we all had the displeasure of reading the latest piece of sycophantic brownnosing by what has become everyone's most hated hypocrite. Today, the brilliant Sean Corrigan of Diapason Securities strikes again with the letter that should have been written. We hope someone of greater repute (not to mention circulation, reach and net income) than the NYT will grow some balls and post this.
Bloomberg responds to the Kleptocratic House Association