We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Sanders Report on the GAO Audit on Major Conflicts of Interest at the Federal Reserve

Click here to access article from the office of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) 

This report is not that lengthy (only slightly over four pages) and a must-read for anyone wanting more specific information on the banking bailout corruption that has people in the US occupying many bank related sites across the country. 

Audits of the Federal Reserve (the Fed) were authorized and undertaken following the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in July 2010. Both audits were performed by the US General Accounting Office. The first audit was released in July 2011 that focused on where the Fed's "loans" went. The second audit report was just released on October 20 and focused on the governance of the Fed. This article is a summary of this recent report from Senator Sanders' office.

It is difficult to get a handle on all the corruption we are seeing--this is a deliberate policy by the ruling class so that we don't understand and don't get too upset. Many people still think that all the money that was given away by the Fed was paid back. They are thinking of the TARP program which involved far less money than the amount banks all over the world have received (16 trillion dollars!).

I don't claim to fully understand the TARP program, but this article from Henry Liu provides a good explanation. Originally $700 billion was authorized to purchase all the worthless mortgages on the books of the banks at their book price (original evaluation), but far less was used. The stated purpose of the program was as stated by Liu:
The prime goal of TARP is to encourage banks to resume lending at levels seen before the crisis, both to each other and to consumers and businesses.
Clearly that never happened. The source of much of the money paid back under TARP was from the super-low interest rates on money that the big banks could borrow from the Fed which creates money out of thin air. The big banks, in turn, use these loans to buy government securities that pay much higher rates of interest. They simply pocket the difference. See this, this, and this.