Friday, April 1, 2011

Foreign institutions were the biggest borrowers from the Fed during the financial crisis

New disclosures that come out of a recent Freedom of Information Act ruling shows that during the height of the financial crisis the Fed lent billions of dollars to foreign institutions.

The data shows that the Fed's discount window was accessed heavily during the Lehman crisis back in October 2008 and through the spring of last year. Two of the biggest borrowers were the European bank, Dexia SA, which took $26.5 billion in a single day and Depfa, a subsidiary of German Hypo Real Estate Group. They borrowed $24.6 billion.

Curiously, some of the most troubled US institutions hardly made any use of the discount window at all. Citigroup, for example, only took a total of $3.85 billion.

By supplying this HUGE dollar liquidity the Fed precluded what would have been a gigantic dollar spike. It was something that I was screaming about at the time, here, here, here, here and here.

If the Fed hadn't done this then the ECB and other central banks would have had to sell their currencies and buy dollars in the forex market in order to meet local institutions' liquidity needs. Instead, the Fed just basically gave them the dollars and exposed itself to unlimited foreign exchange risk. Where was the outrage back then? There was none.


googleheim said...

This is when the German economic minister said "more crass keynes economics" from the USA !!

This is again how it's all rigged.

MMT saved the day with good ol' elastic currency theory applied to prevent a bank run.

The irony and hypocrisy :

a. Euro still too strong
b. PIIGS continue to fail and Euro stays course
c. Factories in the South of USA where deficit terrorist chicken hawks are in power and suck off the backs of union rich north east for federal funds yet still ask for reduction in spending ( ? ).
d. We have to have their Austerity ?

The Euro austerity is a smoke screen as I've been saying all along.

They benefitted very well with an early $600 billion stimulus without anyone suing their central bank, and then they cover everything up with some patronizing austerity plans which are racially biased against the equivalent of "latinos" in Europe - the lazy southerners.

Merkel n co should be wiped off the political map.

smoke screen

googleheim said...

Another thing - we loan them the money and they buy NYSEuro Next from us with our money ????

We give them open swap lines and what does small business get ?

We are subsidizing the Germans to be better exporters than us.

How about we force austerity down the Frankfurters ?

see how they like it.

oh but I forgot, we have to sell them levi's, McDonalds Pepsi Coke Boeing have to make better returns in Euros and then hold them off from the tax connection as long as they can.

Mario said...

the NY Fed wrote a paper not too long ago about how many US institutions did not use the discount window during the fin crisis and the reasons why this stigma exists with the discount window and the effects this has in a liquidity crisis.

Here's the link:

It appears the Fed wanted banks to use the discount window but they didn't.

I also believe that the although these are forex swaps they are still paying interest back to us on them so we are actually making money on them...I don't believe they were just "given" to those EU institutions. Check out this questioning of Ben Bernake at Congress regarding forex swaps. It seems fine to I being too innocent or something? What's the damage done? I do wish they'd drop taxes and increase fiscal spending but the Fed has no control over that.