Wall Street Bailout Cost Reaches $4.6 Trillion; Most from Federal Reserve Loans

Monday, April 05, 2010

Discussions of Washington’s bailout of Wall Street have mostly focused on what the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) has spent: $410 billion. But the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) claims the real total of the federal rescue amounts to the staggering figure of $4.6 trillion. Trillion, not billion.

CMD came up with this total after crunching numbers from direct Federal Reserve loans to Wall Street businesses and banks, plus taxpayer dollars spent to buy up toxic assets and prop up the mortgage and mortgage-backed securities markets. The Federal Reserve has already pumped more than a trillion dollars into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which own or secure the vast majority of home mortgage loans in the United States, and, according to the report, banks and Wall Street firms are the primary beneficiaries of these funds
To put the $4.6 trillion figure into perspective, CMD pointed out that this amount is equal to 32% of the United States’ entire gross domestic product in 2008. It’s also more than the entire federal budget for 2009.
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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