Fed Data Shows Foreign Banks Huge Beneficiaries of Emergency Lending Programs, Hedge Funds, McDonald’s, Harley-Davidson and Others Also Bailed Out
by George Washington
Under orders from Congress pursuant to the Dodd-Frank financial legislation, the Fed has finally released details of its emergency lending starting in 2007.
As Bloomberg notes:
Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. were among the top borrowers from the Term Auction Facility [TAF]…
Bank of America had three loans for $15 billion each outstanding from the facility as of Jan. 15, 2009, while Wells Fargo had three loans for $15 billion each on Feb. 26 …
Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. also availed themselves of the TAF. Citigroup’s Citibank NA subsidiary had three loans under the facility totaling $20 billion on Jan. 15, 2009. JPMorgan’s JPMorgan Chase Bank NA had two loans totaling $25 billion on Feb. 26, 2009.
Bloomberg notes that foreign banks borrowed heavily from TAF as well:
Banks with headquarters outside the U.S. were among the first to begin using the facility in December 2007 and were also among its heaviest borrowers. These included the U.S. affiliates of banks such as Manama, Bahrain-based Arab Banking Corp., Madrid-based Banco Santander SA, and Paris-based Societe Generale SA. Beginning on June 18, 2009, Barclays Bank Plc had two loans totaling $23.45 billion outstanding.
In a second article, Bloomberg points out that despite Goldman’s statements that it would have survived even without help from the Fed, Goldman was a big borrower as well:
Goldman Sachs Goup Inc., which rebounded from the financial crisis to post record profit last year, was a regular borrower from two emergency Federal Reserve programs in 2008 and early 2009, new data show.
The firm borrowed from the Fed’s Term Securities Lending Facility most weeks from March 2008 through April 2009, data released by the Fed today show. Two units of the New York-based firm borrowed as much as $24.2 billion from the Fed’s Primary Dealer Credit Facility in the weeks after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy in September 2008, the data show.
Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein, 56, was quoted by Vanity Fair last year as saying the company might have survived the credit crisis without government help. The firm’s president,Gary Cohn, was more definitive, according to the magazine: “I think we would not have failed,” he was quoted as saying. “We had cash.”
Business Insider quotes the Fed to show that many banks tried to avoid the stigma attached to discount window borrowing by using the TAF program:
Many banks were reluctant to borrow at the discount window out of fear that their borrowing would become known and would be erroneously taken as a sign of financial weakness.