Economy

CMD Releases Bailout Tally, $4.6 Trillion in Federal Funds Disbursed

Today, the Real Economy Project of the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) released an assessment of the total cost to taxpayers of the Wall Street bailout. CMD concludes that multiple federal agencies have disbursed $4.6 trillion dollars in supporting the financial sector since the meltdown in 2007-2008. Of that, $2 trillion is still outstanding. Our tally shows that the Federal Reserve is the real source of the bailout funds.

CMD’s assessment demonstrates that while the press has focused its attention on the $700 billion TARP bill passed by Congress, the Federal Reserve has provided by far the bulk of the funding for the bailout in the form of loans amounting to $3.8 trillion. Little information has been disclosed about what collateral taxpayers have received in return for these loans, sparking the Bloomberg News lawsuit covered earlier. CMD also concludes that the bailout is far from over, as the government has active programs authorized to cost up to $2.9 trillion and still has $2 trillion in outstanding investments and loans.

Prosecuting Financial Crimes: Will Anyone Bunk with Bernie?

James O'Keefe on Fox NewsDick Fuld of Lehman Bernie Madoff is lonely.

Eighteen months after the collapse of the financial system, not one Wall Street Titan has joined the Ponzi King in the federal pen.

For a moment there, he thought maybe Countrywide’s Angelo Mozilo might join him, but alas the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decided to give him the slap. Then those Bear Stearns guys were taken to court over those crazy emails that indicated they knew that the funds they were peddling were chock full of toxic swill, but the Feds screwed that one up too. Then Bank of America’s Ken Lewis came under fire from the New York Attorney General (AG) for not telling his shareholders the truth about that merger with Merrill Lynch. Since the AG has launched a civil and not a criminal case, Lewis too may face the slap. Now a bankruptcy examiner has revealed that Dick Fuld and team were busily cooking the books over at Lehman Brothers before its collapse, but the FBI apparently didn’t read these news stories. It can’t be stirred enough to even issue subpoenas.

Dodd Move Blocks Progressive Reforms

With over 400 amendments readied for the committee debate on Senator Chris Dodd’s financial reform package, Banking Chairman Dodd decided to ditch the democratic process and vote his own version of the bill out of committee. This moves the real debate to the Senate floor and worsens progressive’s chance of improving the bill.

On Friday, Senators had readied their amendments, which included dozens of Republican amendments that were clearly intended to draw out the debate and delay final action. After tweaking the bill over the weekend, Dodd moved for an up or down vote on his draft in committee. It passed on a strict party line vote of 13-10. After a year of discussion, the committee “debate” and mark up took only 21 minutes.

America's Women to Dodd: Size Matters

To: U.S. Senator Chris Dodd
Chairman Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee

Dear Senator Dodd,

As women and as taxpayers, we are writing to you today to tell you that size matters.

Usually we love big. Big boxes of chocolate, big boxes of wine, big — well you know. But when it comes to big banks and big bank bailouts, it’s a whole different story.

As you get ready to take up bank reform in your committee next week, we need to talk.

U.S. Chamber Plans $3M Ad Blitz Vs. Dodd Bill

Congress Daily reported today that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it would spend at least $3 million in a multi-state TV ad buy opposing Senate Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd's (D-CN) bill to revamp the financial regulatory system.

No

For-Profit Schools Leading Students into Debt

student debtAds for private, for-profit colleges and trade schools like the University of Phoenix, ITT Tech and Corinthian Colleges, Inc., lure students by leading them to believe that after graduation, they will land well-paying jobs that will help them get to a solid middle-class life.

No

Progressive Senators Fight for Real Bank Reform

Headlines blared that Senate Banking Chair Chris Dodd was done with dithering, and ready to move ahead with a financial reform package without Republican support. Financial reform groups should be celebrating this as a positive move that would roll back some of the worst elements of the bill inserted during recent bipartisan negotiations, including the nutty effort to put the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) into the Federal Reserve -- an institution about as popular as the IRS. Hold the champagne. Reading between the lines, it seems that negotiations are continuing behind the scenes and ranking Republican Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) says “an agreement is still very possible.” The little spat between Dodd and the Republicans has been beneficial, though, because it flushed out more details about the points of agreement and contention.

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