Sanders grills Bernanke on bank bailout

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(Host) Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke got a grilling ( today / on Tuesday ) from Senator Bernie Sanders during an appearance before the Senate Banking Committee.

Sanders was angry that Bernanke hasn’t disclosed what banks have borrowed from the Federal Reserve.

Here’s a sample of their give-and-take.

Sanders: “Will you tell the American people to whom you lent $2.2 trillion of their dollars?”

Bernanke: “We explain each of our programs. In terms of our terms, we explain the terms exactly. We explain what the collateral …”

Sanders: “To whom did you explain that?”

Bernanke: “It’s on our Web site.”

Sanders: “Yeah, OK.”

Bernanke: “So all that information is available …’

Sanders: “And who got the money?”

Bernanke: “Hundreds and hundreds of banks. Any bank that has access to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s discount …”

Sanders: “Will you tell us who they are?”

Bernanke: “No, because the reason that is counterproductive and will destroy the value of the program is that banks will not come to … ‘’

Sanders: “Isn’t that too bad. … In other words isn’t that too bad. They took the money but they don’t want to be public about the fact that they received it. We heard a whole lot about AIG. They’re on the front pages.”

Bernanke: “These are very sharp …”

Sanders: “I’ve got banks and I have businesses in the state of Vermont who are in a lot of trouble. Not banks. Our banks, by the way, are doing pretty well. Now how do these guys who are honest business people get it. Do you have to be a large, greedy, reckless financial institution to apply for these moneys?”

(Host) Bernanke says banks that get Federal Reserve loans are actually in good shape.

Sanders isn’t satisfied. He introduced a bill that would require the Fed to disclose banks that get loans.

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