Terry Corbell, The Biz Coach
By Terry Corbell
Business Consultant

Federal Reserve Typifies What’s Wrong with Economy



There’s still a troubling schism in U.S. politics, monetary policy and management of the economy. The Federal Reserve finally stopped printing money in 2014, which only encouraged more bad monetary policy.

For another example, consider Bloomberg ‘s shocking expose: “Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2 Trillion in Loans from Fed.” Yes, $1.2 trillion in secrecy.

In a nice piece of forensic financial reporting – only made possible by a series of Freedom of Information appeals – Bloomberg reporters Bradley Keoun and Phil Kuntz revealed how the Fed secretly gave the financial institutions the outrageous loans totaling more than a trillion dollars in public funds. They examined nearly 30,000 pages of secret documents.

The reporters found the Fed furtively funneled $107.3 billion to Morgan Stanley, $99.5 million to Citigroup, and $91.4 billion to Bank of America. Nearly $300 billion – $298.2 billion in public funds were doled out from Aug. 2007 through Aug. 2010.

Moreover, the secret bailouts were three times larger than what was publicly acknowledged by the other controversial bailout, the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP).

That’s right. The $1.2 trillion was in addition to the $160 billion in the TARP bailout funds.

Ironically, in 2006, and  just before the secret loans, Bloomberg reported Citigroup and Bank of America garnered $104 billion in profits.

Fifteen of the borrowers were European banks.

These huge sums of money totaled 25 times more than the $46 billion loaned by the Fed just after the 9/11 crisis.

The Fed’s justification for the secret loans: To prevent a depression.

However, for a different perspective, consider:

“While the 18-month U.S. recession that ended in June 2009 after a 5.1 percent contraction in gross domestic product was nowhere near the four-year, 27 percent decline between August 1929 and March 1933, banks and the economy remain stressed,” wrote the reporters.

The big banks’ chicanery during that period helped cause the problem and the financial downturn – for dubious reasons, 38 percent in credit-card interest rates charged to small businesses and individuals – plus, canceled credit lines and denials in loan applications.

As a result of the resulting poor credit, many businesspeople simple do not qualify for loans. That’s the reason for relatively little in loan demand. In another article, I posed this question: Does the Federal Reserve Understand Small Business? The answer is absolutely not.

“It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

— Henry Ford

You might recall another Fed-bailout beneficiary was Goldman Sachs. Investors were shocked by a published report, Goldman Sachs CEO hires criminal defense lawyer.

Meantime, despite all this secretive wheeling and dealing, this business portal has repeatedly warned about the dangers from public policies and mismanagement as we head toward a double-dip recession.

While writing this piece, I received an email from a frequent reader who complains about the “ruling class” of public officials who continually tax and waste resources. He sent a link for an ABC News video that shows waste by the Fed. You won’t believe what you see.

So instead of sarcasm about presidential candidates who question the Fed and other sacred cows, let’s get pragmatic and take off the blindfolds. It’s time for sober discernment and productive action.

Mitt Romney had it right in the 2012 presidential campaign when he said he’d fire Ben Bernanke. Mr. Bernanke’s replacement isn’t any better. Common sense is lacking at the Fed.

From the Coach’s Corner, here’s more about the Fed’s poor stewardship:

Why Is Transparency Crucial at the Federal Reserve? — Furtive actions by the Federal Reserve show the need for a change to transparency. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke argued in 2012 that transparency would lead to a “nightmare scenario” in the Fed’s monetary policies. But many others, including me, feel the Federal Reserve has overtly overstepped its monetary authority.

Why Federal Reserve’s QE3 Didn’t Help U.S. Economy — The Federal Reserve showed terrible judgment in printing billions of dollars for cheap money. Among 314 million+ Americans, just a relatively chosen few — big investors — benefited from the Fed’s third edition in quantitative easing (QE). The Fed stopped its printing of money, but it’s too late.

“It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

— Henry Ford

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.