Monday, August 22, 2011

Wall Street aristocracy got US$1.2-trillion in secret loans

"Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. were the reigning champions of finance in 2006 as home prices peaked, leading the 10 biggest U.S. banks and brokerage firms to their best year ever with US$104 billion of profits.

"By 2008, the housing market’s collapse forced those companies to take more than six times as much, US$669 billion, in emergency loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The loans dwarfed the US$160 billion in public bailouts the top 10 got from the U.S. Treasury, yet until now the full amounts have remained secret.

"Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s unprecedented effort to keep the economy from plunging into depression included lending banks and other companies as much as US$1.2 trillion of public money. . . The largest borrower, Morgan Stanley, got as much as US$107.3 billion, while Citigroup took US$99.5 billion and Bank of America US$91.4 billion . . . "
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