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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Americans Pay to Bailout Yet Another Foreign Bank ... in Afghanistan?

American Scofflaw
As I have repeatedly pointed out, American taxpayers have been bailing out foreign banks for years.

For example, I noted in May:
As the Wall Street Journal points out, the Federal Reserve might open up its "swap lines" again to bail out the Europeans:

The Fed is considering whether to reopen a lending program put in place during the financial crisis in which it shipped dollars overseas through foreign central banks like the European Central Bank, Swiss National Bank and Bank of England.
***
At a crescendo in the crisis in December 2008, the Fed had shipped $583 billion overseas in the form of these swaps.

As the BBC's Robert Peston writes:
There is talk of the ECB providing some kind of one year repo facility (where government bonds are swapped for 12-month loans) in collaboration with the US Federal Reserve.

Read this for more information on swap lines.
Indeed, the Federal Reserve has been helping to bail out foreign central banks and private banks for years.

For example, $40 billion in bailout money given to AIG went to foreign banks. Indeed, even AIG's former chief said that the government used AIG "to funnel money to other Institutions, including foreign banks".

As the Telegraph wrote in September 2008:

The Fed has also just offered another $125bn of liquidity to banks outside the US that are desperate for dollars and can't access America's frozen credit markets.Congressman Grayson said that the Fed secretly "stuffed" half a trillion dollars in foreign pockets.(Of course, the Fed won't tell Congress or the TARP overseer - let alone the American people - who got the cash).And as I pointed out the same month:

A Fact Sheet from the U.S. Treasury says:
Participating financial institutions must have significant operations in the U.S., unless the Secretary makes a determination, in consultation with the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, that broader eligibility is necessary to effectively stabilize financial markets.

Of course, the IMF, World Bank or a foreign country could funnel the bailout moneys and then the U.S. could print more money to "repay" them later. Accounting shenanigans and under-the-table deals can work wonders to hide the truth from angry American serfs taxpayers.

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