A government watchdog in Washington says it wants to know how U.S. loans to the European Central Bank surged in December 2011 to some $95 billion within days of a statement from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that he did not have the intention or authority to use taxpayer dollars to bail out European banks.
The question from Judicial Watch, the public interest organization that investigates government corruption and fights to bring to justice those involved, is contained in a lawsuit by the organization.
Judicial Watch officials said they have sued the Federal Reserve System’s board of governors and the Federal Open Market Committee, which is inside the Fed, over records about the billions in loans.
It is seeking records detailing the Fed’s taxpayer-funded bailouts of European banks in December 2011.
The filing explains that on Dec. 14, 2011, Bernanke told Republican senators he didn’t not have the intention or authority to use taxpayer dollars to bail out troubled banks in Europe.
According to a Bloomberg report on the meeting, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., confirmed Bernanke “made it ‘very clear’” that the central bank had no intention of rescuing those European institutions.
The report said the boundaries Bernanke set were beyond the existing currency-swap procedures that previously had been adopted. The report said those “currency-swap lines” were able to provide “indirect dollar funding to overseas banks.”
But Judicial Watch reported it was exactly that “currency swap” program that led to nearly “$95 billion in loans to the European Central Bank in December 2011 alone,” just as Bernanke was making the comments.
“Under what is known as a ‘temporary U.S. dollar liquidity swap arrangement,’ the Fed lends U.S. dollars to foreign central banks which then auction these dollars off to their local banks,” Judicial Watch said. “The Fed’s stated intent for initiating the program was to ease lending for European Banks during the financial crisis. The Fed initiated the program in December 2007 and allowed it to expire in February 2010. In May 2010, the Fed rebooted the program and on November 30, 2011, extended it through February 1, 2013. This extension prompted a sharp increase from $400 million to $95 billion in loans in December 2011.”
Early this year, Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act sought records of communications among the Federal Reserve Board of governors, the FOMC, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the European Central Bank concerning the November 2011 currency swap extension.
“Judicial Watch also seeks access to records describing the justification for extending the currency swap program, as well as individual details regarding each swap transaction,” the watchdog reported.
Further, since so little information about those who got the money is available, the requests seek “any and all records identifying, describing, or setting forth the identity of any bank or financial institution and the collateral offered by the bank or financial institution” in that time frame.
Bloomberg also reported, “For all the transparency forced on the Federal Reserve by Congress and the courts, one of the central bank’s emergency-lending programs remains so secretive that names of borrowers may be hidden from the Fed itself. As part of a currency-swap plan active from 2007 to 2010 and revived to fight the European debt crisis, the Fed lends dollars to other central banks, which auction them to local commercial banks…While the transactions with other central banks are all disclosed, the Fed doesn’t track where the dollars ultimately end up, and European officials don’t share borrowers’ identities…”
Even a former vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Gerald O’Driscoll, has criticized the procedures.
Judicial Watch said officials acknowledged getting the records request, but simply didn’t response.
“Chairman Bernanke can dress it up in whatever language he chooses, but these ‘currency swaps’ are nothing more than massive bailouts of European banks,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “That we have to sue to get basic information about this massive bailout speaks volumes about the dubious nature of this under the radar program.”
Judge Says Starr International Co. Inc. May Sue Over AIG Bailout 2012
WASHINGTON—A federal judge has ruled that a $25 billion lawsuit filed by Starr International Co. Inc. against the U.S. government and American International Group Inc. can proceed.
U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Thomas Wheeler on Monday denied the government’s motion to dismiss the case, which centers on the government’s actions during the bailout of AIG in September 2008.
The cases are Starr International Co v. Federal Reserve Bank of New York, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-08422; and Starr International Co v. U.S., U.S. Court of Federal Claims, No. 11-00779.
New Lawsuit Filed Against Rothschild ESM Scheme (Europe Stability Mechanism) Threatens Further Bailout Fund Delay
Just as we were complaining about lack of newsflow, here comes Germany, coincidentally just as Merkel comes back from vacation, with an update from Karlsruhe, Germany that the Constitutional court, which may reject the ESM as is in its September 12th decision, will likely be delayed even more following the filing of a brand new lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the ESM.
No More Bailouts | Restore Glass Steagall NOW
Download and Distribute the PDF Leaflet of this Statement
Capitol Hill sources have confirmed that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke are demanding that Congress prepare emergency legislation for yet another hyperinflationary bailout of the hopelessly bankrupt trans-Atlantic financial system. For the past week, the two men have been meeting secretly with leading Congressional Democrats and Republicans, demanding that they draft new legislation to bailout the banks on an even larger scale than after the 2008 collapse.
According to several congressional sources, Geithner and Bernanke have pledged that they will do everything in their power to flood European banks with bailout funds through the Federal Reserve, but they candidly admit that it may be impossible, and that congressional action may be required. If the crisis hits, they warn, there must be legislation already prepared, because the speed and magnitude of the crisis may require extraordinary intervention to “save the system.”
LaRouche: Our Enemies Could End Civilization This Weekend
Lyndon LaRouche today denounced the Bernanke-Geithner efforts as “tantamount to treason.” “The current Trans-Atlantic system cannot be saved” LaRouche warned. “The only option is the immediate reinstatement of the original Franklin Roosevelt Glass-Steagall Act. It must happen now!” LaRouche warned that, as of Thursday or Friday of this week, the entire European financial system will explode. “Either Germany will hold firm and refuse to surrender the last vestiges of national sovereignty, or Europe will go into a hyperinflationary breakdown. It all hangs on Germany.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel is under pressure from a swarm of British and Wall Street agents – from Geithner and Bernanke to George Soros – to agree to a German bailout of the entire euro system. “The reality is that the gambling debts of the European and Wall Street banks can never be paid. The only option is an orderly cancellation of all those trillions of dollars of gambling debts by reinstating Glass-Steagall.”
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) has introduced H.R. 1489 to reinstate Glass-Steagall and the bill now has 69 co-sponsors from both parties. Last week, LaRouchePAC exposed the fact that former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker has been mobilized, on behalf of Geithner and Bernanke, to sabotage the passage of Glass-Steagall. Now, Geithner and Bernanke are pushing for another even bigger taxpayers bailout of Wall Street and London’s gambling debts. According to Capitol Hill sources, even Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) rejected the Bernanke and Geithner demands!
Lyndon LaRouche reiterated that the only option is Glass-Steagall. “Anyone who is not fighting for Glass-Steagall now is going to be judged a traitor to humanity. The only way to save the viable commercial banks is to end the bailouts and go back to Glass-Steagall. If Glass-Steagall is not passed into law now, we face the danger of total chaos, when the system comes crashing down. It could happen as early as the end of this week, as the European crisis reaches a break point.”
CALL YOUR FEDERAL REPRESENTATIVE AND TELL THEM: NO MORE BAILOUTS, RESTORE GLASS-STEAGALL
Independence From British Puritans
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