Jia Lynn Yang, Neil Irwin and David S. Hilzenrath
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Wikipedia: NBC Universal was formed in May 2004 by the merger of General Electric’s NBC with Vivendi’s Vivendi Universal Entertainment. General Electric (GE) owns 80% of NBC Universal with the remaining 20% owned by Vivendi.
The financial crisis stretched even farther across the economy than many had realized, as new disclosures show the Federal Reserve rushed trillions of dollars in emergency aid not just to Wall Street but also to motorcycle makers, telecom firms and foreign-owned banks in 2008 and 2009.
The Fed’s efforts to prop up the financial sector reached across a broad spectrum of the economy, benefiting stalwarts of American industry including General Electric and Caterpillar and household-name companies such as Verizon, Harley-Davidson and Toyota. The central bank’s aid programs also supported U.S. subsidiaries of banks based in East Asia, Europe and Canada while rescuing money-market mutual funds held by millions of Americans.
The biggest users of the Fed lending programs were some of the world’s largest banks, including Citigroup, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Swiss-based UBS and Britain’s Barclays, according to more than 21,000 loan records released Wednesday under new financial regulatory legislation.The data reveal banks turning to the Fed for help almost daily in the fall of 2008 as the central bank lowered lending standards and extended relief to all kinds of institutions it had never assisted before.
The Fed’s massive GE bailout was a shocker. “Newly released documents from the Federal Reserve Board show that General Electric Co. was a significant user of one of the Fed’s rescue programs in the fall of 2008, even as the blue-ribbon company enjoyed the highest credit rating available at the time,” reported Jeff Gerth at ProPublica. GE owns the NBC television network and MSNBC and CNBC cable channels.