So, Um, What Happened To That 2 Trillion Dollars In Bailout Money?

“Hey, guys? Where did that 2 trillion dollars go?” asks Bloomberg. The answer? We’d tell you, but it would be bad for you.

[House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney] Frank said the Fed shouldn’t reveal the assets it holds or how it values them because of “delicacy with respect to pricing.” He said such disclosure would “give people clues to what your pricing is and what they might be able to sell us and what your estimates are.” He wouldn’t say why he thought that information would be problematic.

[Bloomberg] (Thanks, James!)
(Photo: Meg Marco )


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  1. gibbersome says:

    $2 trillion?! I thought we had only given out $700 billion or so.

    • sirellyn says:

      @gibbersome: They gave out 850 billion at that time. There’s also AIG (about 200 billion with no cap, and they’ve been taking advantage of that.) Bear Sterns bailout, Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac bailout. And the 60 billion dollar auto industry bailout that the media didn’t bother to cover. Oh and the auto industry is now asking for more because apparently 60 billion just isn’t enough.

      If you thought the cost of letting them fail is high. You are about to see how much higher the cost of letting them run will be.

  2. midwestkel says:

    Where did this 2 Trillion come from, can I have some?

    • floraposte says:

      @midwestkel: I am probably emblematic of what’s wrong with the American public, because my first thought wasn’t that I wanted some of the money but “I want some Cap’n Crunch.”

    • My Head Hurts says:


      The 2 trillion came from your tax dollars. And to your second question; No, you can’t have it back.

    • Anonymous says:

      @midwestkel: If you want some, just go to your kid’s room, break open their piggy bank, and take all the money in it. They are the one’s who will eventually have to pay for all this.

  3. joeblevins says:

    Apparently there are other programs that didn’t need congressional approval. There are reports out there of all the secret deals going on. It is pretty disgusting.

    Lots of money to pay bonuses to failed executives. And there isn’t a real requirement for the banks to open up loan practices. Heck, they are using it to acquire each other.

  4. Megladon says:

    Oh, did we say 2 trillion… we actuly ment 700 billion, the real amount is a secret. God forbid you knew your government was bankrupting its self over some banks.

  5. Keep talking...I'm listening says:

    Frank Barney the Purple Congressman

    Barney is a congressman with lots of imagination
    When he’s talking he’s what we call an economic savior
    Barney teaches lots of things
    Like how to play pretend
    FDICs and 1-2-3’s and how to be a friend

    Barney comes to play with us.
    Whenever we may need him.
    Barney can be your friend too.
    If you just make believe with him.

  6. richcreamerybutter says:

    The rest of us can have bake sales…oh wait, those are slowly being outlawed as well.

  7. mbgrabbe says:

    Barney Frank’s a smart guy. I think he’s right in this case. If the government released to the public the method that it was using to value the assets that it was buying, private companies could buy up cheaper assets and resell them to the government for a quick profit. This would completely defeat the purpose of the financial bail out.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @mbgrabbe: Yup. Or you could make reasonably accurate estimates on their methodology then use it to your advantage, or alternately shriek in a loud voice, RUN ON (THIS or THAT) BANK. RUN!!”
      I hate to pull out this analogy every freaken time that we cover the Financial Meltdown, but the unfettered Free Market got us into this mess, but here we are: you’re blaming the fire department when they show up to douse the fire set by your drunken, pot-smoking, fireworks-manufacturing uncle, people.

      Blame the people that got us into this mess, not the ones trying to fix it.

      That said, there better be rigorous oversight behind the scenes, and the Feds DAMN well better be investigating the actors who got us in this mess, with an eye of putting as many in jail – their (and their family’s) assets seized – as can be reasonably justified. These Free Market Fundamentalists damaged the US far more than 10,000 years of al-Queida ever could.

      • Imakeholesinu says:


        The problem with the latter part of your request is that the government is buddy buddy with most of these “actors” because they are lobbyists. The Fed will not be doing any oversight, if at all minimal at best because they see these companies as golf outings and fishing/hunting trips.

        No one will be going to jail for this. No one is going to be held accountable. The Bailout like the FISA law, wiped the slate clean for these companies.

      • t-r0y says:

        @Trai_Dep: The problem here is that the fire department has advertised the fact that you can recklessly let your uncle get drunk, get high AND make fireworks. Then, IF ANYTHING BAD HAPPENS they will come put out a fire, build you a new house, and take you out to dinner.

        Then they’ll ask for more money from tax-payers.

        Let’s face it, they’re will always be drunk, high, fireworks makers out they and they’ll get burned! And maybe they’re neighbors too! But that doesn’t mean the government should rescue these fools!

        • Trai_Dep says:

          @t-r0y: Yup, if your uncle is Phil Gramm. Fannie, Freddie and Barney are more like neighbors who, way after the fact (and past the firework factory went up and drinks were consumed), built a franchise fireworks shack in their front lawn, supplied by the drunken uncle.

          Still comes down to the fact that if your drunken uncle wasn’t an idiotic jerk, neither the firemen or the corner shack would have blown up. Point the fingers where they belong.

    • Craysh says:

      @mbgrabbe: Yeah he’s smart. He’s so smart that he vehemently denied that there was anything wrong with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and the VERY smart people in Mass put him back into office!

  8. ADismalScience says:

    There is no disclosure here to prevent a run on the banking system and delay cascading deleveraging costs to the economy. Taxpayers can ride it out and make money on these banks while they clean their balance sheets, or they can panic, stuff all their worthless fiat in the mattress, and watch the economy collapse completely.

    I’d be in favor of disclosure if we could expect a rational response. We can’t, so I don’t.

    • sirellyn says:

      @ADismalScience: Haven’t you ever thought to yourself… Hey isn’t it weird you can have a RUN on the banks considering most money is digital now anyway. I mean you gave your money to them in the first place. Doesn’t that mean they have it?

  9. hi says:

    They won’t tell you because what they are doing is illegal and we would throw them all in jail for it. It’s pretty straight foward. They are criminals. They == “The Human Enslavement Machine”.

    • U-235 says:

      @hi: Oooh! Can I have an aluminum hat too?

      • Trai_Dep says:

        @U-235: I long for the days when villains had kewl, threatening acronym-based names like SPECTRE, THRUSH or SHIELD.
        “THEM” sounds too much like a ’60s flower-rock band. Work harder, today’s miscreants, work harder!

        • Red_Flag says:

          @Trai_Dep: But… but… SHIELD can’t be villains… they’re headed by Samuel L. Jackson…

          • Trai_Dep says:

            @Red_Flag: Oh damn. You’re right. They’re the good guys. Did SHIELD have an acronym-laden foe?
            I almost used CHAOS, but I recall (weakly: correct me if I’m wrong) that it doesn’t stand for anything.

      • Red_Flag says:

        @U-235: Aluminum is not necessarily aluminum foil. A solid aluminum hat wouldn’t be too terribly comfortable and would likely enforce bad posture. Aluminum foil (or tinfoil) on the other hand, is not only good at blocking Elvis’ satellites from scanning your frontal lobes, it is also more than robust enough to be incorporated in today’s haberdashery.

        “Pairannoya – ur doin it rong!”

    • Gokuhouse says:

      @hi: I agree that there is lots of stuff we don’t know about because it is illegal and they would be in trouble for it.

      @U-235: It’s because of people like you things like this never get brought out into the open. Why don’t you go about your business trying to convince people that Nixon was a good president and the watergate scandals never really happened.

  10. concordia says:

    Go go gadget fiat currency!

    ~is the Fed~
    ~gives no f**k~

  11. Skankingmike says:

    I think we know where the money went, paying off Chinese debt, Saudi debt and various other countries.

    then it lined the pockets of the elite few in office and private banking.

    Anybody that doesn’t want government oversight so the people know where OUR FUCKING MONEY are either stupid, or brain washed.

    Yes we should know, and nobody is going to “run on a bank” this isn’t 1930.

    This has got to be the biggest criminal event in American history right after the approval of the federal reserve.

    • BinaryTB says:

      Saudi Arabia is one of the richest countries in the world. Why would the US be paying off their debt? I may be missing something, but got a source/link?

      • MikeGrenade says:

        @BinaryTB: I think he meant debts we owe them?

        • Skankingmike says:

          @MikeGrenade: yes they own 30% estimated, of our country through obviously them lending us money.

          Meanwhile they use their money to fund the Taliban’s misguided terrorist organization.

          Yes we won’t deal with terrorists unless you have money. End.

          • lincolnparadox says:

            @Skankingmike: Most of that is debt that they have purchased from other lenders, or Treasury Securities, or just currency that they sit on.

            Saudi Arabia, for example, holds about $3-4 trillion of our debt. They also hold about $3 trillion in US investment (or they did, they might have bailed on the Stock Market to some extent).

            The $13 trillion in US debt sounds terrible, but in comparison to some other countries, our debt as percentage of GDP value isn’t that bad.

            It’s bad, but it could be a lot worse. We could be Ireland.

            Here’s a URL from Wikipedia (not my usual choice of references, but the table was so pretty).


  12. Triborough says:

    No doubt Barney Frank is getting his cut.
    We need to stop electing these corrupt bastards they got us into this mess and aren’t going to get us out of it. Although they’ll come out with oodles of money for themselves.

    • jdhuck says:

      @Triborough: Yet, we just put more in office.

      • chauncy that billups says:

        @jdhuck: Exactly. Instead of being tarred and feathered as he should have, Frank is now strutting around with an even larger majority than the first.
        1)destroy the economy
        2)lie about it

        In the above scenario, they have found out the ???. Just have a complicit media machine backing your every move.

  13. JanetCarol says:

    m f ers

  14. howie_in_az says:


    I’m starting to think that the gubment should’ve just given every taxpayer $50,000 to do with as they please. Not only would that have jumpstarted the economy but a good portion of it would’ve (hopefully) been saved, thusly shoring up the banks. And the best part about it: taxpayers wouldn’t feel like they’re constantly getting screwed, lube-less and with sandpaper condoms, by Wall Street.

    • shockwaver says:

      @howie_in_az: The $2 Trillion (Trillion, seriously? $2,000,000,000,000) would equal about $8000 for every man, woman, and child in the US. If it boggles the mind, that’s because a lot of this isn’t “real” money. It’s fresh off the presses, still warm to the touch money.

  15. Sollus says:

    This is disgusting.

  16. NumberFiveIsAlive says:

    You know, I’m no conspiracy buff, but all this is happening too coincidentally. I think someone is making a play at grabbing financial or world power.

  17. lodleader says:

    F you Barney Frank

  18. aftercancer says:

    You know my kids are 7 and 4 and they’re going to be paying for this bullshit! How is it that the people pf this country aren’t marching to DC with pitchforks? Oh yeah, DWTS.

  19. chauncy that billups says:

    “>Here is a video of Maxine Waters, Meeks, and others all obfuscating and claiming there’s no problem at fannie and freddie.

    “>Here is a story on Barney Frank’s involvement (sorry, Fox News, but no other news agency reported it, so go figure).
    I’m sorry, but I find it unsurprising in the EXTREME that Frank is the one who is now saying that we can’t know where this money is going, money that is no longer going to be used in the way it was proposed originally. This is all too rich. And of course, don’t forget, it’s all Bush’s fault. Nothing that happens in the next 4 years as a result of Democrat or Obama policies is anyone’s fault but Bush’s.

    • chauncy that billups says:

      @bilups: link fail. I forgot youtube clips get embedded.

    • Craysh says:

      @bilups: That’s pretty much the reason that the Obama presidency will be touted as one of the greatest and any problems he has will be blamed on Bush.
      Don’t believe me? Some people STILL think that Reagan as a bad president. Those same people think that Carter was a great president!

  20. kwsventures says:

    AIG spent all the money on the latest Palm Springs golf package. Fore.

  21. drunxor says:

    I heard most americans approve of bailing out GM if they agree to build Toyotas

  22. kwsventures says:

    The truth is we are a socialist society. Bailouts at taxpayer expense is the proof. Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Barney Frank said his committee will hold a hearing next week to consider a bill to provide $25 billion in federal loans to U.S. auto manufacturers. … none of these bailouts will work. All the taxpayer money is going to waste. Nobody can stop the natural market action. I don’t care how much money you throw at the situation. As the Federal Reserve burns out the printing press, we are setting up for a massive hyper inflation period within the next 5 years. Why? The Fed is flooding the world with dollars. .. I don’t understand these fools. Banks should dilute shareholders by offering more common and preferred shares to investors who take the risk and reward. That is how the banks get more money. If nobody wants to invest in the banks, then, they go bankrupt. I hate to tell ya but central planning/socialism doesn’t work.

  23. usa1 says:

    Now do people understand why Bill O’Reily was a bit POed at Barney recently?

  24. du2vye says:

    Palm Springs was so-o-o-o last month. October’s golf package was in Phoenix. I wonder where AIG exec’s (1200 of them) are going for November’s “meeting”?

    This is what the bail-out money went for. I wonder how much B. Frank got paid for this.