For more than two years, the Fed and the banks it bailed out during the 2007 to 2009 financial crisis have kept many of the details of the massive, multi-trillion-dollar bailout a secret. But, thanks to Freedom of Information Act requests, 29,000 pages of bailout details are pouring out of the Fed at last, and those details are explained in an extended and damning report by Bloomberg Markets magazine. Among the biggest revelations:
- $7.77 trillion: the total amount doled out in aid by the Fed to all the banks, as of March 2009, which Bloomberg notes surpasses 50% of the value of "everything produced in the US that year." In comparison, the $700 billion TARP "at least had some strings attached," says one House Democrat. "With the Fed programs, there was nothing."
- $1.2 trillion: the largest one-day amount given out to the banks by the Fed, on Dec. 5, 2008.
- $13 billion: the estimated amount 190 banks earned by getting loans from the Fed at below-market rates.
- $146.3 billion: the amount America's six largest banks paid in compensation in 2010, up nearly 20% from five years earlier. That works out to an average of $126,342 per employee.
- $86 billion: the amount Bank of America owed the central bank on Nov. 26, 2008—the day its CEO described BofA to shareholders as "one of the strongest and most stable major banks in the world," which Bloomberg shares as an example of the secrecy surrounding who received billions, and when.
The Fed says there have been no losses, but Bloomberg
argues that the secrecy surrounding the funding "enabled the biggest banks to grow even bigger." Click to read the entire piece
. (Read more financial crisis