Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Where's Ben Bernanke's Missing 2 Trillion?

So the sky is falling, the economy collapsing, and what does the Bush Administration have to say? Or what do they actually know?? Is their answer like the immortal words of Cheney, when told that many Americans believed the Iraq War wasn't worth it:

Kay in Maine reports that
Ben Bernanke has given out 2 trillion dollars in emergency loans, but doesn't know who got the money...

Or, according to this article at firedoglake,

Apparently Bernanke, that wonderful bipartisan soul who is so competent and wonderful that everyone in the village thinks Obama should leave him in charge is refusing to identify who got almost 2 trillion dollars of Fed cash. Bloomberg News is suing to find out. Personally I really, really, really want to know. What exactly is Bernanke hiding?

Is it that he doesn't know? Or doesn't want us to know? Or doesn't know if it would be a good or bad idea for us to know?

After all, the whole idea of these loans is pretty shaky, but necessary.
This is money that was loaned in exchange for "collateral", by which we mean "trash no one else but the Fed would buy for anything but cents on the dollar".

"Collateral" otherwise known as those infamous Credit Default Swaps, perhaps? Those toxic assets that have poisoned every business they touch?
More to the point, that 2 trillion is taxpayer money, and taxpayers have a right to know what sweetheart deals Bernanke's been giving out, and who's been getting what. This whole "this information is too scary for citizens to know" schtick is so Bush regime. I thought we were moving into a new era of openness? Perhaps Barney should get with the program?

Now that President-elect Obama is hitting the ground running - including plans to close Gitmo and more bailouts for the economy, not to mention undoing some of those Bush signing statements - we should let him know it's time to replace Bernanke with someone more capable, more up-front, and less Bushco-oriented. Of course, with Alan
Greenspan as a precedent, Bernanke could be hoping for a longer-term stay at the Fed.

Does this mean the bailout is planned as a sort of "black budget" like certain sectors of the military budget? Or is it more like the "budget" of Iraq? Let's hope Bloomberg News gets some traction on their FOIA lawsuit so bring Bernanke & Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to make good on their "transparency" promise back in September, so we don't have to look at our taxpayer-dollar expenditures on blacked-out pages.

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