September 6, 2010

$12.8 Trillion for Banks vs. . . . ?

Bloomberg reporter Bob Ivry has confirmed, U.S. taxpayers didn't just fork out $700 billion for TARP; they're also on the hook for $12.8 trillion for other assistance to the banks (see the PBS interview excerpt here).

Exactly who's gotten the benefit of our largesse? The Federal Reserve refuses to tell, despite being hauled into court. The reporter who led in pursuing this story – to the point of suing the Fed for the info and winning – was Mark Pittman.

Pittman died in 2009 at only 52. The precise cause of death is unknown. The Fed's appeal of the case is still pending.

(Per Bloomberg, at the time of Pittman's death, his outgoing messages bore a link to the photo of Woody Guthrie at left.)

Next time someone tells you we have to cut Social Security (even though it's fully funded through 2037 and could be brought into balance for another fifty years beyond that with an adjustment of less than one percent to contribution amounts – see Social Security Works), or that we can't afford $50 billion for jobs, tell them about the more than $12.8 trillion we've afforded to banks and suggest we take back some of that instead.

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