The Other Bailout

As it becomes increasingly apparent that our $700 billion bailout of Wall Street was profligate and naïve, taxpayers have been left with little more than the dignity of having stuck to principle. We resisted the push to delegate a fiscal autocracy to the treasury secretary and executed our will in houses of governance. It was our money, and even though we may have made the wrong decision, at least we got the chance to decide. Unfortunately, times change. On Monday, Bloomberg News reported that the Federal Reserve âÄî the privately operated quasi-governmental central bank of the United States âÄî has issued $2 trillion in emergency loans financed with taxpayer money and backed by âÄútroubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateralâÄù and has refused to identify who is receiving it. This inconceivably gargantuan figure does not include dollars allocated for the congressional bailout and is not constrained by its safeguards. And unlike our misadventure with the bailout, Congress did not approve this action and Americans are not entitled to know who is receiving it. We just pay the tab. In response to this outrage, Scott Talbott, the senior vice president of the Financial Services Roundtable defended the secrecy, saying âÄútaxpayers have a right to know âĦ but one piece of information standing alone could undermine public confidence in the system.âÄù In other words, you have the right to know where your money goes as long as itâÄôs good for business. By providing this surge in loans, the Fed has further reduced the value of our dollar at a time when people are already suffering. You are being ruined from the inside America, and while the Fed exists thereâÄôs nothing you can do about it.