This is from the newsroom of Senator Bernie Sanders’ website:
“The first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve uncovered eye-popping new details about how the U.S. provided a whopping $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. An amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders to the Wall Street reform law passed one year ago this week directed the Government Accountability Office to conduct the study. ‘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,’ said Sanders. ‘This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.’”
Citigroup: $2.5 trillion ($2,500,000,000,000)
Morgan Stanley: $2.04 trillion ($2,040,000,000,000)
Merrill Lynch: $1.949 trillion ($1,949,000,000,000)
Bank of America: $1.344 trillion ($1,344,000,000,000)
Barclays PLC (United Kingdom): $868 billion ($868,000,000,000)
Bear Sterns: $853 billion ($853,000,000,000)
Goldman Sachs: $814 billion ($814,000,000,000)
Royal Bank of Scotland (UK): $541 billion ($541,000,000,000)
JP Morgan Chase: $391 billion ($391,000,000,000)
Deutsche Bank (Germany): $354 billion ($354,000,000,000)
UBS (Switzerland): $287 billion ($287,000,000,000)
Credit Suisse (Switzerland): $262 billion ($262,000,000,000)
Lehman Brothers: $183 billion ($183,000,000,000)
Bank of Scotland (United Kingdom): $181 billion ($181,000,000,000)
BNP Paribas (France): $175 billion ($175,000,000,000)
and many many more including banks in Belgium of all places
Please, spare me for the moment all talk of the debt-ceiling. At this point I could not care any less. Its morphed into a fortuitous distraction for the Federal Reserve, which apparently is being governed by people who have quite clearly lost their minds. Debt limits have failed spectacularly to restrain the issuance of government IOUs, so its vexing to see so many take them so seriously. At $14.294 trillion, the current debt ceiling its bested by the amount already lent by the Fed. Similarly, the effects of a government default on its debt obligations have been blow way out of proportion.
This is what causes recessions. Not the Community Reinvestment Act. Not Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Not the ratings agencies. Not credit default swaps or stock options or bundled mortgage securities any other financial derivatives. Not increased savings. Not the Chinese. Try fiat credit expansion.
Its interesting how the Fed can introduce $16 trillion into the global economy with almost full media impunity. You can count on the unfortunate passing of Ms. Winehouse to (regretfully) receive much more attention than this.
CalPERS, Texas Teacher Retirement System, BlackRock and 12 other pension funds and investment management companies are suing Bank of America and others, alleging securities fraud involving mortgage lending of B of A’s Countrywide Financial business.
The suit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, accuses the defendants of inflating Countrywide earnings by overstating the values from mortgage securitization and mortgage servicing rights.
Other defendants include Countrywide, which Bank of America acquired in 2008; Angelo Mozilio, Countrywide former chairman and CEO; David Sambol, former president and chief operating officer; Eric P. Sieracki, former executive managing director and CFO; and KPMG, Countrywide’s auditing firm.
Messrs. Mozilo, Sambol, and Sieracki “blatantly issued materially false statements” between March 12, 2004, and March 7, 2008 — the time period cited in the suit — and “misled investors,” the 425-page complaint stated.
The suit accuses KPMG of issuing “false and untrue (financial) statements when it issued an unqualified or ‘clean’ audit opinion,” while it “failed to obtain reasonable assurance about whether Countrywide’s financial statements … were free of material misstatements arising from error or fraud.
“These prominent institutional investors made every effort to amicably resolve their claims for recovery of damages caused by the massive and pervasive fraud at Countrywide without filing formal litigation, but were unsuccessful,” Blair Nicholas, partner with the plaintiffs’ law firm, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann, said in a statement.
The plaintiffs seek recovery of their investment losses and punitive and other damages, though the suit did not quantify them. Mr. Nicholas declined to comment on the amount.
Scott Silvestri, Bank of America spokesman, couldn’t be reached for comment.
Dan Ginsburg, KPMG spokesman, said, “We don’t comment on pending litigation.”
Along with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the Texas Teacher fund and BlackRock, other plaintiffs are the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, Montana Board of Investments, TIAA-CREF, Norges Bank Investment Management, Royal Mail Pension Plan, PGGM Vermogensbeheer B.V., Government of Guam Retirement Fund, American Century, Nuveen, SunAmerica, T. Rowe Price and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
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