Here's one for the WTF files. While it is neither a secret that back in 2009 America had a thriving relationship with the world's suddenly most hated man Moammar Gaddafi (see "Obama is the first U.S. president to shake Gaddafi's hand") only to turn around and bomb him, nor is it surprising since after all when it comes to oil our administration will do anything and everything to procure it, no matter how many Nobel peace prizes are trampled in the process, it may come as a surprise to some that a bank majority owned by the Libya Central Bank, was the direct recipient of US taxpayer largesse in the form of discount window borrowing. Bloomberg writes that Arab Banking Corp., a lender part- owned by the Central Bank of Libya, used a branch in New York to borrow at least $5 billion from the U.S. Federal Reserve as credit markets seized up in 2008 and 2009. Indeed a quick word search through the compiled daily releases will confirm that the Fed dispersed funds to the Libya-owned venture on well over 30 occasions. And while we have querried in the past how it is possible that various Libyan financial interests managed to get past domestic Anti Money Laundering provisions, when it comes to direct funding from taxpayers would it be too much to ask of Ben Bernanke not to transact with institutions operating on behalf of various so-called tyrants, mutants and, broadly, Antichrists?
More from Bloomberg:
The bank, then 29 percent-owned by the Libyan state, drew $1.1 billion from the Fed’s so-called discount window in October 2008, Including $450 million during the week when hundreds of financial firms drew a record amount of emergency funding from the U.S lending program, according to data released by the Fed today. Arab Banking Corp. also owed about $4 billion to the Fed under other bailout programs in the fall of 2009, data released in December show.
The U.S. government has since frozen assets linked to the regime of Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi and engaged in air strikes against his military forces as they battle a rebel uprising in the North African country. Arab Banking Corp. received an exemption that allows the firm to continue operating while prohibiting it from engaging in any transactions with the government of Libya, according to the Treasury Department.
Libya’s stake in Manama, Bahrain-based Arab Banking Corp. increased to 59 percent in December 2010, the company said on Dec. 2.
David Siegel, treasurer of Arab Banking Corp.’s branch on Park Avenue in midtown Manhattan, declined to comment when contacted. The bank’s board is chaired by Mohammed Hussain Layas, chief executive officer of the Libyan Investment Authority. The CEO is Bahrain-based Hassan Ali Juma.