By Michael Snyder - BLN Contributing Writer
A one-time limited GAO audit of the Federal Reserve that was mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act has uncovered some eye-popping corruption at the Fed and the mainstream media is barely even covering it. It turns out that the Federal Reserve made $16.1 trillion in secret loans to their bankster friends during the financial crisis. You can read a copy of the GAO investigation for yourself right here. These loans only went to the "too big to fail" banks and to foreign financial institutions. Not a penny of these loans went to small banks or to ordinary Americans. Not only did the banksters get trillions in nearly interest-free loans, but the Fed actually paid them over 600 million dollars to help run the emergency lending program. The GAO investigation revealed some absolutely stunning conflicts of interest, and yet the mainstream media does not even seem interested. Solid evidence of the looting of America has been put right in front of us, and yet hardly anyone wants to talk about it.
Many Americans have a hard time grasping just how large 16.1 trillion dollars is. It is an amount of money that is almost inconceivable. It is more than the GDP of the United States for an entire year. It is more than the U.S. government has spent over the last four years combined.
The Federal Reserve was just creating gigantic piles of cash out of thin air and throwing them around with wild abandon.
One of the only members of Congress that has wanted to talk about the GAO audit has been U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. The following is a statement about this audit that was taken from his official website....
"As a result of this audit, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world"
So precisely who got this money?
Well, a recent article on Raw Story named some of the big Wall Street banks that got some of this money....
Out of all borrowers, Citigroup received the most financial assistance from the Fed, at $2.5 trillion. Morgan Stanley came in second with $2.04 trillion, followed by Merill Lynch at $1.9 trillion and Bank of America at $1.3 trillion.
But it just wasn't U.S. banksters that were showered with nearly interest-free loans. It turns out that approximately $3.08 trillion went to foreign financial institutions all over Europe and Asia.
So who in the world gave the Federal Reserve permission to bail out financial institutions all over the world?
But under our current system the Federal Reserve doesn't have to get permission. They literally get to do whatever they want.
On his website, Senator Sanders expressed his outrage over these foreign loans....
"No agency of the United States government should be allowed to bailout a foreign bank or corporation without the direct approval of Congress and the president"
So should we expect Congress to approve legislation that would reduce the power of the Fed?
Of course not.
We all know that is not going to happen.
The Federal Reserve is run like a dictatorship. They get to do what they want and nobody can stop them.
Not only did the Fed dish out over $16 trillion in secret loans to their friends, but they also paid their bankster friends over 600 million dollars to help them do it.
Can anyone say "conflict of interest"?
Not only were the banksters raking in trillions in secret loans, they were also paid to help run the lending process.
So why isn't the mainstream media talking about this?
That is a very good question.
But wait, there is more.
It turns out that many Fed officials had very large investments in the financial institutions that were receiving these secret loans.
So what was done about all of the conflict of interest issues that arose?
According to Senator Sanders, "the Fed provided conflict of interest waivers to employees and private contractors so they could keep investments in the same financial institutions and corporations that were given emergency loans."
Oh, everyone was given waivers.
Apparently corruption is okay if we just get everyone to sign a bunch of forms.
The following is one example of a conflict of interest that occurred during this lending program that Senator Sanders noted on his website....
For example, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase served on the New York Fed's board of directors at the same time that his bank received more than $390 billion in financial assistance from the Fed. Moreover, JP Morgan Chase served as one of the clearing banks for the Fed's emergency lending programs.
This is a classic case of the foxes watching the hen house.
It was the banksters that caused the financial crisis. They were the only ones that the Federal Reserve helped. In fact, the Federal Reserve ended up having the banksters basically run the entire emergency lending program as Senator Sanders noted on his site....
The Fed outsourced virtually all of the operations of their emergency lending programs to private contractors like JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. The same firms also received trillions of dollars in Fed loans at near-zero interest rates.
If you were not outraged by that, then you need to read it again.
What the banksters have been getting away with is absolutely mind blowing.
So will changes be made to make sure that something like this never happens again in the future?
Well, the GAO has recommended that significant changes should be made.
But as mentioned above, the only one that gets to tell the Federal Reserve what to do is the Federal Reserve.
According to the Washington Post, the Federal Reserve is promising to "strongly consider" the recommendations of the GAO....
The Fed’s general counsel, Scott Alvarez, said in a letter responding to the GAO’s audit that officials will “strongly consider” the recommendations.
Most Americans do not realize that the Federal Reserve is not actually part of the federal government. It is a privately-owned central bank that is not accountable to anyone.
But most Americans still believe that the Fed is a government agency.
The truth is that the Federal Reserve is about as "federal" as Federal Express is.
In another article about the Federal Reserve, I noted that the Federal Reserve has even admitted that it is not an agency of the federal government in court....
In defending itself against a Bloomberg request for information under the Freedom of Information Act, the Federal Reserve objected by declaring that it was "not an agency" of the U.S. government and therefore it was not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
Basically, an unaccountable private monopoly creates our money, sets our interest rates, regulates our banking system and makes secret loans to whoever they want.
The Federal Reserve has more power over our economy than any other institution and nobody can overrule any decisions that they make.
Does that sound very "American" to you?
Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, it has been systematically destroying the wealth of America through constant and never ending inflation.
The U.S. dollar loses more value every single year.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, what you could buy for $1.00 in 1965 will cost you $7.17 today.
Sadly, the devaluation of our money is actually accelerating. That is one reason why we are seeing precious metals soar right now.
Not only that, but the Federal Reserve was also designed to be a perpetual government debt creation machine.
Do you know how money is created in this country?
Normally, more money is only created when more debt is created.
What this sets up is a never end spiral where the amount of money and the amount of debt are continually increasing.
Most Americans believe that we could solve the government debt problem if we could just control spending.
But that is not the case.
The Federal Reserve system was designed to get the U.S. government into constantly increasing amounts of debt and this is exactly what has happened....