Fed Dished $3T in Aid to Foreign Banks

Other beneficiaries included ... Verizon, Harley-Davidson?
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2010 2:45 AM CST
Updated Dec 2, 2010 6:50 AM CST
The Federal Reserve Building on Constitution Avenue in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)

(Newser) – The beneficiaries of the Federal Reserve's $3.3 trillion in emergency programs during the financial crisis aren't names you'd expect to see: Foreign banks including UBS and Barclays ranked among the biggest borrowers under the Commercial Paper Funding Facility, sparking more debate over the central bank's role, Bloomberg reports. A helping hand also went to companies that most wouldn't link to Wall Street, according to some 21,000 loan records released yesterday: With credit frozen, the Fed also purchased commercial paper from the likes of GE, Verizon, and Harley-Davidson.

The Fed notes that none of the emergency programs have lost money, but that hasn't done much to appease critics. "Has the Federal Reserve become the central bank of the world?" asked Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont who authored the part of the financial reform law that required the Fed to disclose the transactions. "We’re talking about huge sums of money going to bail out large foreign banks."

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