Friday, April 1, 2011


Foreign Banks Tapped Fed’s Secret Lifeline Most at Crisis Peak

U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben S. Bernanke
Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
April 1 (Bloomberg) -- Thomas Brown, chief executive officer at Second Curve Capital LLC and a Bloomberg Television contributing editor, discusses the Federal Reserve's discount window lending to banks at the height of the financial crisis. The central bank released about 29,000 pages of secret loan documents yesterday under court order, almost three years after Bloomberg LP first requested details. Brown speaks with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop." (Source: Bloomberg)
April 1 (Bloomberg) -- Mark Williams, a former Federal Reserve bank examiner who is now an executive-in-residence at Boston University's School of Management, discusses the Fed's release of data on "discount window" lending during the financial crisis and prospects for transparency at the central bank. Williams speaks with Erik Schatzker and Lizzie O'Leary on Bloomberg Television's "InsideTrack." (Source: Bloomberg)
April 1 (Bloomberg) -- Nouriel Roubini, the New York University economist who predicted the financial crisis, talks about the outlook for monetary policy by the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. He speaks from Cernobbio, Italy, with Maryam Nemazee on Bloomberg Television's "The Pulse." (Source: Bloomberg)
March 31 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg reporter Bob Ivry discusses the release of the Federal Reserve's discount-window lending records and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s borrowing history. He speaks with Matt Miller on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)
Foreign Banks Tapped Fed’s Secret Lifeline Most Crisis Peak
Dexia SA borrowed as much as $33.5 billion through its New York branch from the Fed’s “discount window” lending program, according to Fed documents released yesterday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. Photographer: Jock Fistick/Bloomberg
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s two-year fight to shield crisis-squeezed banks from the stigma of revealing their public loans protected a lender to local governments in Belgium, a Japanese fishing-cooperative financier and a company part-owned by the Central Bank of Libya.
Dexia SA (DEXB), based in Brussels and Paris, borrowed as much as $33.5 billion through its New York branch from the Fed’s “discount window” lending program, according to Fed documents released yesterday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. Dublin-based Depfa Bank Plc, taken over in 2007 by a German real-estate lender later seized by the German government, drew $24.5 billion.
The biggest borrowers from the 97-year-old discount window as the program reached its crisis-era peak were foreign banks, accounting for at least 70 percent of the $110.7 billion borrowed during the week in October 2008 when use of the program surged to a record. The disclosures may stoke a reexamination of the risks posed to U.S. taxpayers by the central bank’s role in global financial markets.

Libya-Owned Bank Got 73 Loans From Fed Discount Window After Lehman Fell

Libya's Leader Muammar Qaddafi
Arab Banking Corp ., then part-owned by the Libyan state, used a New York branch to borrow at least $5 billion from the U.S. Federal Reserve in 2008 and 2009. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg News
April 1 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg reporter Bob Ivry talks about the U.S. Federal Reserve's lending to Libya-backed Arab Banking Corp. and other foreign banks during the financial crisis. He speaks with Matt Miller on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)
Chart: Federal Reserve's Discount Window
Chart: Federal Reserve FOIA release timeline
Arab Banking Corp., the lender part- owned by the Central Bank of Libya, used a New York branch to get 73 loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve in the 18 months after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed.
The bank, then 29 percent-owned by the Libyan state, had aggregate borrowings in that period of $35 billion -- while the largest single loan amount outstanding was $1.2 billion in July 2009, according to Fed data released yesterday. In October 2008, when lending to financial institutions by the central bank’s so- called discount window peaked at $111 billion, Arab Banking took repeated loans totaling more than $2 billion. 

We've Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers

More Americans work for the government than in manufacturing, farming, fishing, forestry, mining and utilities combined.

If you want to understand better why so many states—from New York to Wisconsin to California—are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, consider this depressing statistic: Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government.
It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers. Nearly half of the $2.2 trillion cost of state and local governments is the $1 trillion-a-year tab for pay and benefits of state and local employees. Is it any wonder that so many states and cities cannot pay their bills?

Two UN staff beheaded and five others murdered in protest against U.S. pastor who burnt Koran

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:32 PM on 1st April 2011
  • Koran burning pastor says 'The time has come to hold Islam accountable'
  • U.N. sources say final death toll could rise as high as 20
  • Taliban behind attacks, reports suggest
  • Demonstrators at the burnings take place across the Middle East
  • One of the dead is a 53-year-old female Norwegian pilot
  • Mastermind behind attacks - a known militant - arrested say Afghan police
  • Afghan authorities suspect insurgents blended into protesters
  • Norwegian, Romanian, Swedish and Nepalese nationals among those killed
At least seven United Nations staff were murdered - two by beheading - after extremists stormed their compound in northern Afghanistan today.
According to reports, protesters in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif beheaded two U.N. guards, seized their weapons and began shooting those inside the compound after a demonstration against Koran burnings in the U.S. turned violent.
Reports emerged tonight that the Taliban had claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they were part of a campaign of violence in the run up to presidential elections.

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