The Federal Reserve got loan-happy from 2007 to 2010, handing out mega funding to several top banks and brokerage firms, such as Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Bank of America. The secretive financial agreements were meant to stop the economy from plunging into depression.
Bloomberg, which obtained the loan information through Freedom of Information Act requests and an act of Congress, reported Morgan Stanley was the biggest beneficiary, receiving as much as $107.3 billion. Half of the top 30 borrowers were European banks. The outstanding balance of the loans hit their collective peak of $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008.
The Fed’s deputy director of monetary affairs tells Bloomberg the loans were safe and necessary:
“We designed our broad-based emergency programs to both effectively stem the crisis and minimize the financial risks to the U.S. taxpayer. Nearly all of our emergency-lending programs have been closed. We have incurred no losses and expect no losses.”
A lawmaker quoted in the story is angry that giant firms got ample financial help through the recession while many small businesses were allowed to wilt away without access to the funds.
Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2T in Loans [Bloomberg]