$7,700,000,000,000

I have been busy lately, what with the Skyrim (hyperbole) and whatnot, but the world has kept a turnin’.  Recent things of note include this beautiful article from Bloomberg about the Federal Reserve propping up giant banks with trillions of dollars (seriously! as of March 2009 it was $7.7 trillion) which is both fascinating and gigantic.  Now, as a reasonable person, I do not have a problem with a central bank with extremely limited functionality; contrarywise this can be a vital tool in recovering from a depression.  What we have in this country, however, is the Federal Reserve Bank, which is basically the logical progression of hiring former (and future) banking executives to run your central bank, leaving us with a central bank that serves only to support and enrich the other big banks.

Until recently, and only as a result of a lawsuit recently won by Bloomberg, the specifics of where and how the Fed threw their giant piles of cash (and even the size of the cash involved) were a mystery, knowledge classified to even congressmen and members of the Treasury Department.  The banks involved jumped on this complete lack of transparency, and used their newfound piles of cash to their advantage, not disclosing that it was in actuality loaned to them from the Federal Reserve.  Of course, while the banks have now paid most of this back, the Fed was nice enough to loan it to them at such low rates that they were able to make a nice $13 billion in the long run.  So, in short, a secretive and shadowy government agency used several trillion dollars of tax money to help banks artificially inflate their profits and assets, all so that six banks that literally had already been so financially irresponsible that they were billions of dollars underwater could not only stay in business but run a grift based entirely on lying about where their newfound ‘wealth’ came from.

Who was fighting to keep these details so secret?  Why, obviously it was the Federal Reserve, and the big banks acting through a shadowy mega-lobby-cabal known as “The Clearing House LLC”  which claims boldly on their webpage:

Established in 1853, The Clearing House is the oldest banking association and payments company in the United States.  It is owned by the world’s largest commercial banks, which collectively employ over 2 million people and hold more than half of all U.S. deposits.

So there’s that.  So if you ever thought that all the banks had a shadowy secretive group that helped them all work together to fuck the common man and control the government, you were right, one group has been controlling American banking since 1853.  To make things even tastier for the conspiratorially inclined, some cursory web browsing tells me that four of the Clearing House’s Vice Presidents have also worked for the Federal Reserve Bank, which is probably extremely helpful in advocating for “the interests of its owner banks on a variety of systemically important banking issues.  ”

Anyways, read the article on Bloomberg (which is something I never thought I would have to say) because even though it is extremely long it is also extremely informative and important.  Furthermore, if you still bank with a major national bank, I strongly urge to transfer any accounts you can to either a local bank or a credit union.  Of course, if enough people withdraw their money from the banks, the Federal Reserve will probably just lend them another $8 trillion to help them ‘recover’.

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