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The true cost of the bank bailout

We all know about TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which spent $700 billion in taxpayers’ money to bail out banks after the financial crisis. That money was scrutinized by Congress and the media.

But it turns out that that $700 billion is just a small part of a much larger pool of money that has gone into propping up our nation’s financial system. And most of that taxpayer money hasn’t had much public scrutiny at all.

According to a team at Bloomberg News, at one point last year the U.S. had lent, spent or guaranteed as much as $12.8 trillion to rescue the economy. The Bloomberg reporters have been following that money. Alison Stewart spoke with one, Bob Ivry, to talk about the true cost to the taxpayer of the Wall Street bailout.

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    True Cost…
    Great job Alison… Great to see you again. This story was Big! Excellent reporting. Will the briefs be online for download ?

  • Julie Walker

    The Feds pay out taxpayer money to financial institutions–much more than earlier disclosed–and before that taxpayer money was diverted for two unjustified wars. The Republicans carp about “Obamacare” costs, then deny support for weak to mild Financial Reform.

    Now, Obama’s so-called “Debt Commission” is setting its sights on the most vulnerable, the weakest citizens.

  • Tom & Dru

    Find out where all our taxpayers dollars have gone? What a novel idea. We really appreciate Mr. Ivey, his late partner and his colleagues at Bloomberg, for having the courage to stand firm and demand the truth of our government. Perhaps Need to Know could attempt to explain OTC derivatives to all of us, which Warren Buffet called “financial weapons of mass destruction”. We think these opaque ‘insurance’ instruments lie at the real heart of the ongoing financial crisis.

  • Paul

    It would be great if we could see on this website, the “whiteboard list” Mr. Ivey & fellow Bloomberg reporters made!

  • Andy

    As a financially disciplined and responsible citizen, listening to this report about how our tax money is spent on the financial institutions who were responsible for bringing down USA economy to its knee really hurts. Above all spending all that money on a general theory of economic speculation should be really a big shocking case.

  • Brent

    Yes, please let us see the “whiteboard list” of how the 12.5 trillion dollars were used.

  • Amercian

    Thank you Need to know for airing this piece. Thank you Bloomberg for taking up a fight that alot of TRUE AMERICANS feel the same way about!! So much for mr president’s “we are going after full disclosure” when THEY won’t fully disclose. Thats about the only thing American about this cabinet, American BS.

  • Walt

    Why doesn’t the President instruct Bernanke to release the documents as ordered by the court?
    I suspect it could be done with a phone call. What was that he said about transparency?

  • Nathan

    It is a worthwhile to investigate what our government is doing, though the conclusions of this story are wrong. first most of the 12 trillion is not taxpayer’s money. The Fed has the authority to create money out of thin air, (no taxes, no barrowing) and this is what they have done in the case of most of the 12 trillion. The problem with creating money is that doing so can cause inflation. The fact that dumping 12 trillion dollars into our economy over a few months has not caused inflation shows just how bad this recession is and that the economists were right and that the stimulus should have been much larger. Someone who covers the financial industry would know and report this unless they had a political agenda.

  • Nathan

    If you want to understand derivatives and what happen to our economy read The Big Short by Michael Lewis

  • jan

    This is a topic should should have a whole hour devoted to it.

  • Tim Warner

    A very fine piece of reporting, and yes I want to know
    where my money is, and where it is going.

  • Roosterman187

    1. Spending trillons on “Obamacare” is the last thing we need to do right now. That money can be spent much more effectively elsewhere (how ’bout space exploration?)
    2. “Financial Reform” is not the answer. Americans taking responsibility for their own lives is.
    3. Yes. So totally unjustified. Especially that one in Afghanistan.

  • Roosterman187

    That is taxpayer’s money, one way or another. Printing money is not “woohoo free money like hitting the lottery!!” It has far reaching consequences. A great example is the exchange rate: in 2007, the yen-to-dollar rate was generally about 110yen/$1. It’s currently about 81yen/$1. Economics at its simplest: increase supply and reduce demand; reduce demand and reduce value.
    Also, you failed to note that the Fed has also been monkeying with the prime rate a lot. That may have something to do with the less-than-rampant inflation.

  • Dave

    Nathan, I agree that things are and have been a whole lot worse than what is seen or admitted by the White House, Congress, the banking institutions and those very people who have been responsible for this situation in the first place. I am talking about those individules and institutions who have for the past 10 to 15 years been operating on unsound economic principles and practices, knowing full well that the eventual outcome would be a complete melt down. Certainly the citizens who were promised something for nothing and who borrowed money to buy houses they could not afford, deserve a part of the blame. They however were mere pawns in the larger picture.

    As to the 12 trillion not being taxpayer’s money….I would emphaticly disagree. The Fed prints US currency, which is the basis of the US economy. Every dollar they print affects each and every citizen of this country, present and future. Each dollar is a promisory note that each and every taxpayer present and future is on the hook for! If this were not so, then there would not be any connectio between the banks failing, the stock market crashing, and the need for Congress to authorise the TARP bailout. You sir are wrong as the Fed is a scandalous organization run by the same big banking institutions and wall street types who have skimmed trillions of us Peons hard earned money for centuries! These are the money changers mentioned in the Bible and they are just as much criminals now as they were then.

    So are you one of them?

  • Bailout Actually Cost US Taxpayer Trillions

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  • TheRealREALAmerican

    You sir/madam are whats wrong with America today.

  • Dave

    This shows just how badly the Bush regime had broken our system. You can be sure the top 1% was well-covered by part of that $12T, but the rest of us were one bad day on Wall Street from being citizens of a bankrupt nation.

    But Bush & Co. were only bit players in this mess. The bankers getting huge bonuses despite driving their banks into insolvency are to blame. Congress is to blame for passing the laws that allowed the bank shenanigans to occur. Why do you think laws preventing such actions were passed in 1933?

    Our “leaders” did NOTHING to prevent the near-collapse of our society, and by extension, the world’s economy. If one man like Madoff can cause such ruin, imagine what 435 Representatives and 100 Senators can do.

    We need term limits NOW to oust those who have become too familiar with those who have only their own interests at heart. Public service is a calling, not a career. 2 terms, then GTFO.

  • Chris

    What’s great is how in one paragraph you lay the entire thing on Bush’s shoulders, then in the very next say he was only a bit player. Which is it? And please explain how a completely stable economy, supposedly left by Bill the Great, collapsed in under 8 years, with Democrats holding power in the House and Senate?

    Yes, clearly it’s all Bush’s fault.

  • Matt Turner

    The nutty thing is this story isn’t new. Ron Paul and a few other marginalized Congress have been calling attention to this story for years. It’s nice to finally see the public broadcasting folks hopping on-board fully with the story. They’ve been dancing around it for years, primarily focusing on how bad Bush & Co. were with war spending, which of course they were, but I wonder how far PBS will go in examining the recklessness and not at all transparent spending Obama & Co. have been doing.

  • Nathan

    My problem with the program is that it implies that all of the 12 trillion dollars is now part of the deficit and will need to be repaid by the taxpayers. This is not true. Taxpayers do not need to pay the money that the fed merely prints (ak makes available to banks through loans currently at 0% interest). You are correct in that increasing the money supply affects its value through inflation. But we haven’t seen inflation rise yet, and when it does as the economy picks up it can be controlled easily by raising interest rates. This is what the fed’s job is, to control inflation and deflation and help stabilize our economy. This is not what went wrong with our economy this time around try the stagflation of the 70 & 80 for that. The Fed could have tried to slow the housing boom by raising interest rates, but the real crime was perpetrated by the investment banks that’ sold and resold 10 times over what were bad loans in the first place and with the collusion of the rating agencies had them rated AAA. This all falls under the purview of Congress through the Treasury Dept. What is need is the reregulation of the banks starting with the reintroduction of the Glass-Steagall Act to separate investment banks from normal banks. The recent bank reform act was so weakened by the Senate Republicans as to be next to worthless. The Democrats have been jest as complicit as the Republicans in deregulating the bank over the past 30 years and that deregulation is the ultimate cause of our present economy. The banks have to go back to being satisfies with making a few % more than inflation not the 20, 30, 40, % they think they deserve. If you want a better understanding of what caused our current recession read The Big Short by Michael Lewis.
    As to me personally I am a working man that makes well under the median income but is smart enough to live within my means and there for have no debt. The banks make money for me.

  • Anon

    You can review the list at on the bloomberg news site

  • Nathan

    Link to Wikipedia article on Glass Steagall

  • Dgcrooks

    Had never heard much about the Fed’s roles before, other than a few guarantees and low rates.

    Marvelous re[port. Bloomberg is one of the few doing the job! Thank you for this report: perhaps
    the biggest eye opener yet for me.

    Dave Crooks, old fart in prescott AZ

  • Abner

    Define “the U.S.”, because you sure didn’t say “U.S. Government”

  • nathan

    if you want to know were the recovery act money has been spent check here.

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  • Graybeard

    Bush and Co.? Go look up the vote for TARP and you may be surprised to learn that a higher percentage of Dems voted for it than Reps. Bush might have signed his name to it but the Dems did as much to push it through as anyone, including then Senator Obama stating before the Senate that we have to do what’s right for the country. Oh yeah, he voted for it as well.

    Blame both parties and don’t stop at 10 years ago. Start with Nixon taking us off the gold standard. Jump ahead to Carter and the CRA. Jump ahead to Reaganomics, passed with the blessing of a Dem controlled house. Throw in the repeal of Glass-Steagall under Clinton. Fast forward to the housing bubble that didn’t exist according to Frank et al.

    You know who is no worse off than five years ago? Every one of the frauds in Congress that has been in office for 20+ years. You pay their salaries, their benefits. You pay for their overseas jaunts and by re-electing them blindly, you provide them with a level of comfort that makes them believe they can do whatever they want. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. By instilling in them this sense of absolute power, the corruption grows until it’s out of control.

  • Lloyd

    The Bush years saw 2 wars (unfunded), the start of 2 recessions, 2 tax cuts (with no offsetting cuts in spending), a drug plan for Medicare (unfunded), absolutely no SEC oversight, and pork barrel all over the planet. He was a bit player in that he was nothing more than a lackey for his father’s pals.

  • Guzzo

    They took our jobs..

  • The true cost of the bank bailout: $12.8 trillion | NWOTruth

    [...] PBS | Fri, September 3rd, 2010 // This entry was posted on Sunday, September 5th, 2010 at 8:51 am and is filed under Economy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply. [...]

  • Gene

    Dave, you say near-collapse. I would suggest it has collapsed. If the Feds would ever pull back the curtain we would all see the sky hooks and perception holding up the American lifestyle. They will never willingly reveal, of course. They know we’d be right back to the civil unrest and violence we experienced 50 years ago. It’s time to look up from our TV’s and hand-helds and actually see whats going on around us. This is not about one political party or the other…..

  • Stafford Doc Williamson

    Thanks for this cogent and intelligent comment, the most perceptive of those I have read thus far regarding this story. Glass Steagall’s demise was at the behest of the banks, largely out of jealousy of the profits being seen in the insurance and brokerage industries, with political complicity from numerous directions. However, derivatives, collateral backed securities and other factors were major parts of the quagmire in which the financial industry found itself. The need for the bailout was applied more broadly than the need required too, but that was at least partly just to avoid the appearance of favoritism that was, in fact, being manifest.
    (just BTW, “manifest” is the past tense of “manifest” just like “forecast” is the past tense of “forecast” which highlights the desperate need for higher standards in American education).
    But there are other aspects of this whole “story” that I will address in my own separate post.

  • Infowars

    Alex Jones was right.

  • David Jerrard Givens

    I got it posted to FARK which undoubtedly drove plenty of traffic to this site. The mainstream media will be on the story shortly as they rely on the aggregation sites to feed them their news. Can’t wait to see the outcome of the lawsuit, will we finally see in the Fed’s doors?

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  • mean_liar

    American healthcare costs are by far the world’s worst in $/outcome. If the American worker was given that portion of their insurance costs which are paid by their employer and then that money recouped by federal taxation (and assuming even Italian costs, 70% of US healthcare costs), Americans would have roughly the SAME takehome pay that they do today… AND a fully covered, no limit single-payer system that granted healthcare for all.

    Obamacare stinks because it’s a subsidy for insurance companies, a mealy-mouthed half-version of a fix that squeaked by through pandering to ignorant Republicans and spineless Democrats, but even so it STILL will save money in the longterm.

    And financial reform is more than necessary. Repealed Glass-Steagall, weak and broken federal oversight, and complicit ratings agencies all combined to make hordes of cash off of a bubble everyone knew was going to burst – they should all be held to the fire and reform is fundamental to that.

  • Friscoamm

    Great comments all, however, I didn’t see a one about how the financial meltdown figures in to a great book I’ve been reading for years now. Seems to me that this all ties in to a coming (soon, I believe) single world currency and a single world system. All part of the struggle of good (God) vs. evil (satan). It’s only going to get worse. Prepare yourselves by knowing Christ first, and then prepping you and your loved ones. It’s going to get nasty out here. Good luck every one. God bless.

  • DanubeDiva

    Nomi Prins discussed the non-TARP bailout money in talks, articles and interviews years back. She delves into details in her book “It Takes a Pillage.” Up-to-date PDF reports can be downloaded from her site:

  • Freewill

    RealREAL – So it is wrong for Americans to understand what is going on with OUR taxpayer money? It is wrong for us to question an Administration that promises transparency, and provides none? No sir, YOU are what is wrong with America today. Apathy and blindly following the Government’s spend and borrow policies that have got us here in the first place is about as unAmerican as you can get. Liberals like you for YEARS have complained about how Republicans are controlled by the banks and corporations, and when evidence is presented indicating that Democrats are just as guilty, suddenly you don’t want to hear about it. We all need to wake up, study the Federalist papers, and understand what our founding fathers were thinking when they wrote the Constitution and designed a Government of limited powers and checks and balances. We have let that Government grow WAY beyond its design, and we have let it become a puppet for special interests. And BOTH parties are to blame…..we are ALL to blame. WE can fix it by voting them all out, reforming how campaigns are financed, and electing officials who TRULYy understand the Constitution and the mindset of our forefathers who wrote it.

  • » Financial News Update – 09/06/10 The Progressive Hunter

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  • The True Costs Of The Bank Bailouts – INGunOwners

    [...] TARP was just the appetiser. The true costs are over $12 Trillion. Don't that just curl your toes? The true cost of the bank bailout | Need to Know | PBS __________________ [...]

  • Nathan

    Here are a few more references to help enplane what went wrong with our economy.
    Wikipedia article about the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 passed in the Clinton administration that allowed the market in derivative that crashed our economy.

    Another good book on the crash.
    The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street by Robert Scheer. Here is a link to Robert Scheer talking about his book.

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  • Repo4sale

    Public Disclosure will prove the banks and Fed is a bunch of LIARS! Like Obama! Liars!!!

  • The True Costs Of The Bank Bailouts – INGunOwners

    [...] TARP was just the appetiser. The true costs are over $12 Trillion. Don't that just curl your hair? The true cost of the bank bailout | Need to Know | PBS __________________ [...]

  • citizenzeus

    My prediction: The corporate-crony Supreme Court takes the case under appeal, denies all the lower courts rulings for the Fed and associated banking institutions to disclose how they are using U.S. taxpayer money, and accepts the argument much as in Bush v. Gore, and in many of the national security cases, that this disclosure (counting and assigning the dollars just as with votes, along with transparency and accountability) will create irreparable harm to the companies and the country. They may even make the argument that it is an aspect of national security. So we will have judicial, as well as legislative, and executive precedent and practice aimed at sweeping high level corruption and injustice under the rug. Where will the next advocate be? It will be left to the same citizens holding the bag for this malfeasance, unless we become so complacent that we allow this banana republic mentality to become the foundation for our United States.

  • Mary Alvarado High


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  • Smokindave

    I hope you are running for office and I can vote for you……..

  • B MAW


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  • Stafford Doc Williamson

    I promised a “separate comment” (in a reply to Nathan a week or two ago), but my treatise was too long and never made it here. I will attempt again, but I’m not going to slog through a lot of hoops to make it happen, I have more pressing matters to deal with.

    “Alison Stewart has been one of my favorite on-air personalities for a couple of years now, ever since she started be a substitute host(ess) on one of our favorite MSNBC shows (which, not to be distracting, shall for the moment remain nameless). However, with such cognizant and insightful editorial viewpoints and commentaries included in those broadcasts, I was surprised and disappointed that apparently no one, not even her esteemed co-host was able to pull back the curtain of subterfuge in how the “statistics” were being characterized by Bloomberg and it’s reporters. In an item entitled, “The True Cost of the Bank Bailout” several extremely significant factors have been ignored because they don’t fit with the narrative that is being created. For instance, it was only today that Candy Crowley was interviewing Todd McCracken, the President of the National Small Business Association, on CNN’s Need to Know, who was advocating that the “unused TARP money” and the TARP loans that had already been paid back be reallocated as a pool of money to be loaned (again) to small regional banks who did not need bailing out, but who could use it as a means of making credit available for the expansion of small businesses across America. If that hasn’t already made the inherent distortion clear to you, allow me to walk you through a bit of TARP history.

    A large portion of the reported US$700 billion on TARP funds (yes, it was voted into being by a congress dominated by Democrats, but signed into law by the Republican President under an overal ‘scheme’ [and I choose that word advisedly] developed by Administration officials, and agree to by the then Federal Reserve Bank Chairman) but a large portion of those funds were never distributed, many banks refused the offered loans. Remember now, they were loans, not gifts, not taxpayer money down the drain on the whim of some radical left wing liberals. Loans, which have mostly been paid back in full, and with interest. In other words, not only was that money NOT SPENT, it was returned and EARNED A PROFIT, and therefore a financial move in which Republicans should be proud to claim a share. That is except, of course, from the somewhat perverse, libertarian view that the government should never have been involved in the loaning of money in the first place. “Profits” should be the exclusive domain of the private sector, they think.

    So the starting premise of the story, that the government “spent” (or “wasted”) US$700 billion on a bank bailout program is essentially entirely false from the beginning. Hank Paulsen dreamed it up. Bush signed it into law. And the House and Senate got “railroaded” by the panic conveyed in the supposed urgency of the demand for action. And it made almost all it’s money back already.

    Then the funny accounting at Bloomberg really takes a sharp right turn. They start tallying up loan guarantees as if they were actual money. A loan guarantee is NOT money spent. It is a promise to pay, IF AND ONLY IF, the borrower defaults AND that other means of recovery fail to make whole the lender. If I “guarantee” the loan for your purchase of, say, a Picasso painting, and you make payments on the loan to the actual lender (not me, by the way) for 6 months, but then you default on the loan. Maybe you even run away to Tahiti. So what does the lender do, it reposesses the painting and attempts to get its money back by selling the painting. Now there may be some costs for the repossession, and the shipping, and a commission paid on the new sale, so it could end up costing the lender a few thousand dollars for which I (as guarantor) would be responsible for reimbursing to the lender. But, being a Picasso painting, chances are that the value would have increased during that 6 months, that some small amount of principal had already been repaid (loans on painting tend to be short term amortization, and the borrower would have been responsible for the insurance) so there is even a good chance that in my offering the guarantee on your loan (against the asset of the painting) would cost me nothing. Nor would I profit if the repossession actually made any additional profit either, but that’s simply a side issue anyway.

    But here is where the funny, phoney accounting with which the Bloomberg reporters (and with respect to the bailout generally, the whole of the Republican party) tries to get away. They start talking about the value of the Picasso painting and lump that amount into the “irresponsible” mishandling of “funds”. The US$21 million that was the purchase price of the Picasso has nothing to do with the real “cost” of the guarantee I offered but (in my example) never had to pay a penny because it never was actually triggered by the real world events surrounding it. Indeed if, like AIG or Lloyds of London, I had asked you to pay a premium for my guarantee, I would have made a handsome profit (real world, it might have cost something like US$240,000 in “premium” and fees for such a guarantee). Again, in “normal” real world loan guarantees depending on how the risks were assessed, a guarantor might take part of that US$240,000 premium and use it to buy its own insurance against “overages”, which is to say, they would re-insure their risk with a firm like Lloyds of London by paying them fee for covering their potential losses, but only those losses exceeding some “floor” (or “cap”) amount, say, in the case of the Picasso painting, losses exceeding US$5,000,000 but not losses up to that amount. (Remember this is all insurance on the loan. This covers no risk that would be covered by “ordinary” fire, theft and casualty type insurance which would be the responsibility of the owner, and entirely separate from the loan itself.)

    (Continuing … I hope) ….

  • Stafford Doc Williamson

    (… continuing from above)
    Unfortunately, a related issue, but one I will leave for another discussion is AIG’s cavalier attitude toward the derivatives they were insuring against default risk. Not only were they over-bold about the low premiums they were taking in, but more importantly in terms of the capital reserve they were setting aside to make good on the losses their clients might suffer. In particular they failed to foresee the potential of the rapid rise in real estate prices to create a collapse in the housing market, and thus initiate the “housing crisis” which was really (more accurately) the foreclosure crisis, and that was due, in part at least, to the capital requirements of banks to set aside capital for “bad” loans. As I say, a complex subject for another time, perhaps.

    Suffice it to say that all of these “fictional” and “theoretical” losses of 100% of the face value of the loan insurance WAS (mistakenly???) activated with repect to AIG’s clients (which more properly should have been individually negotiated to “actual” losses, but the panic created pressure to “settle” the crisis/panic quickly, thanks to Mr. Paulsen’s attitude (?) toward the whole situation.

    Now that we are sitting here, almost 2 years exactly from the “crisis” of September of 2008, it is ludicrous to be tabulating the “trillions of dollars” (actually they are talking approximately US$12 trillion) of obligations ceated by a combination of the Federal Reseve Bank issuing loans and loan guarantees in addition to the Administration’s (and Congress’) efforts to stave off collapse of many of the major financial institutions and underlying infrastructure. The whole dishonesty and attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of you, me and the unsuspecting public remains that “loans” and “loan guarantees” are the “same” as money “spent” or money “owed” as a result of borrowing.

    Accounting is, in my opinion, deserving of being categorized as one of the “black arts”, but those are the misrepresentations going on here, and I don’t like it one bit that it hasn’t been quashed by howls of outrage from everyone with a lick of sense.

    Stafford “Doc” Williamson

  • Anonymous

    So it must be true, the Secret Wells Fargo foreclosures and shortsales, are being motivated by the $13 Trillion authorized via the Secret FED funds that Bloomberg is trying to get the FED to disclose.

    Here is Need to Know video on Bloomberg lawsuit with the FED, in the video you will see an entry of $Trillions for the FDIC to shore up banks

    Here is the link to the Lawsuit, the Need to know said it was $13 Trillion but this article says it is $2 Trillion.

    Here is video on the Sweetheart deal with One West and other banks like Wells Fargo:

    Here is another investigative reporter who found out from two US Treasury officials that the HAMP program is to “shore up the banks assets” and NOT to help home owners to keep their homes:

    Here is the CSPAN July meeting with the bankers to find out why so few HAMP home loan modifications had been granted by the serving banks like Wells Fargo. The lying through omission and I think the Congressmen know it.

    Wells Fargo HAMP horror stories, more out there,

    Wells Fargo, second quarter profits – $3.1 Billion plus $2.1 Billion in first quarter, $5.2 Billion in 2010, so far.

    I got a call from my Congressman, wanting to talk to me. Now that I think I have confirmed that Banks are really making money to help people shortsale and foreclose, I am really ticked off.
    One Million homes in 2010 so far, about 3 million foreclosures and shortsales in 2009 and 2010 is about 12 million homeless people. There was an article in USA Today last week that indicated the Employee Assistance Program, helping their employees with stress issues, is Housing. These are EMPLOYED people, and they are losing their homes. It spiked to nearly 50% of all calls to EAP Human Resources departments of the employers.

    The Secret FED agreement of $13 Trillion to the banks, out of sight of the Tax payer and Congress, that Bloomberg is putting our country at risk. Not to mention, the loss of homes with HAMP motivating the banks to shortsale and foreclose rather than helping modify mortgages because they make MORE MONEY via the Secret payments from the FED via FDIC (the taxpayer).

    Taxpayers funds via the Secret fund of the FED via FDIC to the banks are funding the Profits of Wells Fargo Profits, $2.1 Billion in 2010 and Millions of Families are losing their homes. By the way, the bailout was created in the final days of the Bush Administration.

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  • Benhur

    There was an interesting analysis in a related article where Alexander Mirtchev assesses the implications for government intervention in the banking system. He considers that the crisis has led governments to accept the transfer of private sector debt onto state balance sheets, which exposes both developed and developing economies to sovereign debt and deficit imbalances. Such a transfer is likely to have far-reaching repercussions, deepening some economies’ exposure to the impact of the financial crisis and possibly prolonging the advent of recovery. Alexander Mirtchev emphasised the need to look beyond the immediate short-term pressures, and devise a broader policy response that would address the long-term needs to encourage productivity, competitiveness and growth.

  • entrepreneur ind


    I don’t give a darn how much it is, I can’t even pay the interest, let alone the principle, because that trickle down that is supposed to occur….aint.

  • entrepreneur ind

    Jesus became violent throwing out the money changers from the temple. But don’t make the jump of predicting going to one world currency please. It would not work and Jesus has given us the wisdom to see it. The problem is insolvency. We can’t borrow ourselves out of debt and there is no mechanism for our government to make equity based money. To illustrate, graph one dollar borrowed in 1913 when the fed was created and place a yearly usury (interest) charge of 6%. Compound that for 100 years to see the problem, it perfectly matches the US debt, public and private. Capitalized interest becomes huge, growing exponentially. The wealthy 2% receive most of it followed by legions of financial clones. It leaves about 1/3 of the population (the producing portion) supporting the other 2/3.

    We need a US TREASURY DOLLAR that is equity, not debt to the FED.

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    [...] out to pay back the money. Total Cost Currently: $12.1 trillion Total Gain: $12.1 trillion Source for cited number 4. End tax cuts for the rich Total Cost Currently: $30 billion Total Gain: $30 billion New [...]

  • Florida Kuhls

    Howdy there, just identified the Blog on google and i must say this blog is great.may I share some of the article found in this post to my local friends?i am not sure and what you think?anyway,Many thanks!

  • debris

    Benhur… comments like yours, as well meaning as they may be, really only serve to bolster the illusion that all that is happening is somehow part of the natural ebb and flow of a system.. when in fact it is rather glaringly obvious to any who can extract themselves from their own normalcy bias, that it is actually all going as planned.. now, WHO is planning it? that is really the only important part, as the system itself can easily be changed… once the criminal class is no longer at the helm

  • this is America’s working class? – Page 3 – VolNation

    [...] Originally Posted by droski No it wasn't. Just saying it more doesn't make it true. Posted via VolNation Mobile I'm not saying it: The true cost of the bank bailout | Need to Know [...]

  • Common Dan

    Following Nathan’s accurate description of the creation of cash, inflation has raised the price of oil over the past year directly. That is why I will be wearing a helmet and a flak jacket nexttime I go out of the house because the next thing to happen will be everything else catching up. It’s gonna hit like a ton of brick.

  • Where's the Outrage? » Math and Tax cuts

    [...] The economic bailout (under Bush) cost somewhere around $4 – $12 trillion. [...]

  • Kohlironbuy

    Why there are more and more people buying our wrought iron entrance doors in such a bad housing market? Because we never lose the love for the beautiful life.

  • Faith Degross

    Your web page won’t show up correctly on my iphone 3gs – you might want to try and fix that

  • el gringo viejo

    So the bailout money has been repaid with interest. Tell that to those who lost their homes and jobs. Should be a great comfort to them.

  • Gregory Hoffmann

    PBS didn’t know the federal reserve was in the middle of being audited. The actual number is around $16 trillion and $8 trillion of THAT went to the European Central Bank

    read the report…

  • Ranban

    GAO Report No. GAO-11-696 page 131

  • bonniewheeler

    I understand that the money that was loaned to keep the banks from going under has been repaid – It’s the 535 million loaned to SOLYNDRA that was lost.  The currend administration gave them the money despite all the warnings. President  Bush, much to his credit would not give the money to SOLYNDRA because, as he said,  he didn’t know enough about it .  Smart move by President Bush

  • ButterBean

    And page 205 which has the chart displaying each bank…  Reports state that some of the banks didn’t even want the loans but were forced to take them for a period of time at which time they were allowed to pay the loans back….something always fishy when banks and gov’t are involved!!!

  • Gregory Grigoriou

    Bonnie, the truth is that Solyndra failed because they exist in a solar marketplace where China is actually providing major subsidies to the tune of BILLIONS to their Solar power companies. This creates an unfair advantage for Chinese solar companies where virtually no player outside China has very much chance to succeed. There are only 2 solutions to this problem for American solar companies: Get out of the solar business all together and concede to China, or the US government must start to subsidize solar akin to the way it does for big oil, gas and coal. Of course, being a typical Republican, you probably think we should get out of solar all together because science is so scary. But keep right on blaming Obama, when the real enemy to your security Republicans, who would hold back clean renewable cheap solar energy, while using YOUR tax dollars to subsidize dirty and expensive coal and oil.

  • The Occupy Wall Street Movement is WORKING!!! – Page 25 – US Message Board – Political Discussion Forum

    [...] with one, Bob Ivry, to talk about the true cost to the taxpayer of the Wall Street bailout." The true cost of the bank bailout | Need to Know | PBS This ain't over. Wall Street will be coming back for more taxpayer bailouts. Some of the 1% never [...]

  • Ashleyshane1

     That is true but we should still be upset that we allow it to even be a possibility. we should not put ourselves in a position where we can not fulfill our obligations. Not only that but if the after math looks like this for what you are arguing was even more profitable in the end than i would hate to see what it would look like if we did have to reimburse them for the loan guarantees. its not good business… On our part the (99%) we should probably work on getting that stopped when things have stabilized. 

  • Occupy Harvard. – Page 4 – US Message Board – Political Discussion Forum

    [...] Quote: Originally Posted by Oldstyle Quote: Originally Posted by georgephillip Quote: Originally Posted by Oldstyle The UMass Economics Department back in the 70's was about as liberal as they come. If you dared to speak up and argue that capitalism wasn't a failed system, you would be summarily ridiculed and you could kiss a high grade goodbye. I took 3 Economics classes in college and they were all taught by left wing radicals who literally loathed capitalism. Do you think US capitalism is no longer capable of providing enough jobs to keep US unemployment beneath 9%? Has the age of mass affluence passed? Is it possible for capitalists to thrive in a global marketplace consisting of the richest 20% of humanity? Of course US capitalism is capable of providing jobs to keep unemployment beneath 9%. The only reason unemployment hasn't gone down is we have an Administration who views the Private Sector as an ATM for entitlement programs and has spent the past two and a half years scapegoating business leaders for his own policy failures rather than working with them to improve our economy. Capitalism works. You just have to let it… Are you saying the 1% and US corporations are paying too much in taxes? The share of wealth and income are at all time highs for the richest 1% of individual taxpayers. Corporations are sitting on $2 trillion while making near-record profits. The ratio of profits to wages is higher than any time since the Great Depression. Meanwhile Bloomberg reporters claim $12.8 trillion has been "lent, spent or guaranteed" helping Wall Street recover from its policy failures. Capitalism seems to work best for those who already have the most. The true cost of the bank bailout | Need to Know | PBS [...]

  • Mark Powell

    If they divided that 12.8 trillion among the American people, less the 1%, that would come to over $43K EACH! That is for EVERY man, woman, and child in the USA. How well do you think THAT would stimulate the economy?

  • Mark Powell

    Maybe because those wrought-iron doors have much better SECURITY to them than the standard door, and in a collapsing economy like we have, protecting what you have becomes VERY important.

  • Mark Powell

    Please don’t make the false assumption of including your religion in a financial discussion. Far too many people follow rational thought instead of that old mythology to take you seriously. Jesus is nothing to me and never will be. Nice old myth though. Too bad none of the people that claim to follow him do as he taught.

  • Mayor McCheese

    Of course, you couldn’t just distribute it evenly. That would be socialism! :)


    [...] The true cost of the bank bailout- Colorado tax revenues fall 25.7% in 2009 due to banks damage to economy. September 3, 2010 PBS Watch your federal and Colorado taxes go up to pay Wall Street bank bonuses on PBS   [...]

  • USA Ranks 27th in Social Justice – Page 11 – US Message Board – Political Discussion Forum

    [...] with one, Bob Ivry, to talk about the true cost to the taxpayer of the Wall Street bailout." The true cost of the bank bailout | Need to Know | PBS [...]

  • All Too Visible Hand, Again |

    [...] and not people.  It’s not as if we don’t have the money; by some estimates, nearly 13 trillion was spent bailing out the [...]

  • Torque21212

    Mark Pittman-”passed away”. Are you fu*&ing kidding me?!?!?!??!!!!??!?!

  • Dangorman2463

    I really wanna know how they can take money from hard wroking tax payers to bail out the banks who steal money for americans by giveing out loans that people could never pay back. on top of that the ceos of these banks are flying private jets living a life style most people could only dream of but instead of lowering there spending cost they get more money from the same people whos homes they’ve taken. these banks are theifs and there getting away with it i love america but it reall makes me sick how they could let this happen there needs to be some change.

  • Ariella Knab

    Not very well. Inflation would go up. 

  • Yesac Reteur

    Can you really steal from someone who’s giving you their money willingly for something in return? It was that or NOT get the house of their dreams. Perhaps some of the blame can be laid upon the people for taking out loans way above their means. I’m guilty of this myself, but I refuse to lay all the blame on the banks. I was able to afford the education I wanted through their help, despite them giving me loans I never should have been granted. Both borrowers and banks must be held accountable.

  • When a Lie becomes Truth Because It’s Repeated So Many Times – Webmaster Forum

    [...] a solution to a problem. And the cost, as we've later found out, was much more than $700 billion.)…-bailout/3309/ __________________ Toronto Wedding Cakes ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ [...]

  • Breaking => U.S. Citizens Stuck With Billions In Obama Orchestrated TARP Losses: States Must Nullify The Printed Paper Bailout ~ TARP Ceiling Was Raised 117 Times From $787 Billion To A Hidden $12.8 Trillion!

    [...] spoke with one, Bob Ivry, to talk about the true cost to the taxpayer of the Wall Street bailout.PBSAFL-CIO Chief Issues Warning to Democrats, George Soros: U.S. Largest Labor Union “AFL-CIO” [...]

  • Raul Jundi

    Yeah, Mark Pittman “died of natural causes”. This robbing of the 99% is bigger than we are lead to believe. We are just hitting the tip of the iceburg. 

  • Raul Jundi

    Although there would be inflation, it can be curbed with interest rate. A simple fix. But yeah, that would definitely stimulate economy. 

  • Donkrahn

    What’s happening?  How could anyone look the other way while this is going on?  I don’t know but I suspect Wall Street wants the Yankee dollar to look good no matter what to keep fake optimism here, or they want to keep alive the imports and outsourcing, or this is to prevent loss of confidence in the U.N., which could cause military pullouts in the middle east, or last but not least the filthy rich are trying to restore the middle ages social structure to the U.S…. Does anyone have any ideas what is going on??? 

  • Glenn

    If this were the case, my mortgage would have been paid off. The problem is, without money being lent, there is no “growth” of the economy. Everey dollar borrowed makes 10x that in “new money”.
    I suggest everyone interested watch the video Money as Debt!

  • A Point of Interest | WP 3

    [...] industry that could directly receive over $700 billion in tax payer monies (not to mention the $12.8 TRILLION which were required to stabilize the economy after it almost collapsed due to unregulated financial [...]

  • [QUESTION] SBS getting taxpayers’ money: Is it justified? –

    [...] and sold as 'investment grade products'. According to 'The true cost of the bank bailout' [PBS,03Sept2010]: "According to a team at Bloomberg News, at one point last year the U.S. had lent, spent or [...]

  • Purban7216

    I don’t believe any government agency should be allowed to hide behind obscure rules to keep the public from knowing what’s going on.

  • America’s Internal Colonialism | The Progressive Playbook

    [...] 2: PBS, The true cost of the bank bailout, (September 3, 2010) 3: David J. Lynch, “Banks Seen Dangerous Defying Obama’s Too-Big-To-Fail [...]

  • Robwarner3

    “New Money” happens with just simple consumer spending as well. The money you spend on your food, utilities, entertainment does not just stop when you spend it. The money gets spent again by the company you bought from; some goes towards more resources to make more products, payroll, investing. That money never stops moving and it has a multiplier effect just the same as the banks have. The multiplier is a bit different yes, but it is there nonetheless. Personally, by giving everyone even just 18 and over an equal part of that money(243 million 16 and over according to census in 2010 so: $52,674 as a good estimate for the 18+ group as of now), it would have put money into the economy right where WE decided it should go and absolutely nowhere else. Our “dollar votes” as they are called in economics, are what makes or breaks companies and for the government to cast so many of those votes for us idiocy to say the least. Since when has government been able to make the right choice for everyone? It can’t, but we can as the individuals we are.

  • Harvey57

    People love to blame the banks.  How about blaming your neighbor for refinancing their home to the hilt, then walking away or short selling.  You and I are paying taxes for our neighbors bailout.  Millions of our neighbors. As the judge in Michigan who transferred assets to children so they could show hardship and short sale their million dollar Gross Pointe home.

  • Connie Kuring

    Is it possible for taking care of financial crisis by allowing each state to work on their own because each state has different needs ? and they could spot the problem easier and can easily find the solution. ? Solving the Global financial Crisis is so complex. I have no idea what the solutions is going to be. The boat has too much water on it and its on the danger Zone. We may have to allow the boat sink and let them swim out of it.

  • Anonymous

     The State government is allowed to work on their own.  As each State is populated by humans, each State has the same needs.

    How each State goes about providing those same needs is where the Federal Government comes in to set minimum guidelines that every State must meet.  Those Guidelines were developed over hundreds of years with experience, science and a little bit of religion.

    You see the problem comes when State and Federal government come together in a greedy circle to allow fraud and get rich.

    It was the Big Banks that created the problem, well that and two wars.  It was foreseen, plenty people talked about it.

    They talked about fraudsters that had names like Dick Cheny, Mitt Romney, GW Bush and Paul Ryan, Charles and David Koch.  The list is quite short actually.

    Here is a source for information and a solution before the boat fills up with water so you can help bail with us.

  • What’s really behind the Occupy Wall Street Movement | Heart and Soul

    [...] laws would not apply to members of Congress. Rescued banks would sit on trillions of taxpayer bailout money, refusing at the same time to approve loans for small business’s and individuals to help [...]

  • Janeporto

    obviously you do not have a clear understanding of the magnitude of the banks responsibility for the mess we are in. Please do more research, you may want to start with PBS.

  • Janeporto777

    you are sadly mistaken, and clearly a republican. The banks paid bank the money with printed money thru QE and other government loans, no your homework and stop spreading miss information.  

  • Janeporto777

    Thank you Benhur, your someone with real facts.

  • Janeporto777

    Thank you, Thank you, The citizens of the US need to know the truth!!  THIS IS NOT A REPUBLICAN VS DEMOCRAT PROBLEM.

  • Janeporto777

    Geez your beyond hope and clearly have no understanding of what has transpired.

  • Janeporto777

    sadly neither  Republicans nor Democrats will read any of this, because they know everything.

  • Egwilson67

    Hey, I just want to borrow $3000.00 to catch up the household bills. Even if everyone sued the muthers, the fine wouldn’t get back to us. If we all won the the class action suit, guess how much you would get?  Just what you put in. $5.00 apiece. We would never see a dime, though. That’s income and it is taxable. So, what can you do, besides burn them on a stake? Or lopoff their heads? Can’t vote them out, just stop all business ties with them. They can’t hold on to the money for ever, they’ll go broke, from the taxes. Take your money out and put in a jar, at least you will know where it is, and how much is in there, at any given time. Don’t have to worry, how much the bank siphons off, cause it aint in the bank.

  • Anonymous

    A $trillion here, a $trillion there… don’t you agree, we need accountable-to-us leaders to steer our national boat, Our USA, toward objectives that make a difference to us, the 99%, (the people who create wealth) such as: sustainable energy, sustainable health care, living-wage jobs, and education.

  • Anonymous

    “stop spreading miss information.”

    that’s a funny visual….

  • A Matter of Priority: End Homelessness or Buy Christmas Lights? | Huff Santa Cruz

    [...] get more out of enjoying other peoples Christmas decorations then I did out of saving Wall St..… Even then you’re not going to solve the homeless problem totally if no one is charged with [...]

  • WHEN I’M SIXTY-FIVE | Musical Scalpel

    [...] Bank Bailout Costs to date have been estimated at $12.8 Trillion by Bloomberg [...]

  • We Have a "Paying For It Problem" – Page 9 – Christian Forums

    [...] to bail out banks after the financial crisis. That money was scrutinized by Congress and the media. The true cost of the bank bailout | Need to Know | PBS Originally Posted by Dave Ellis You are approaching this as if they started in a similar [...]

  • Ain’t That a Shame? Part Deux: Mo’ Better Bonuses for Bailed Out Wall Street |

    [...] out Wall Street to the tune of $700 billion in the Troubled Asset Relief Plan (TARP), but the true cost to rescue the economy could be $12.8 trillion. Whatever the figure, there is no doubt that just [...]

  • The Case for Psych & Drug Testing Congressional Candidates

    [...] trillions of tax dollars spent or guaranteed by the government (last estimated at $12.8T in 2010 by Bloomberg News) rescuing an economy that was thrown into turmoil by bad banking practices. No politician who [...]

  • Thursday READ – 21 March 2013 » 99GetSmart

    [...] US spent or guaranteed $12.8trn in its bailout package, which is equivalent to almost its entire annual [...]

  • Bill Nolan

    We have allowed it. It is now the foundation of our country. Fact. We deserve every bit of this, because we do nothing about it.

  • mikeme

    I agree with Janeporto, Harvey its guys like you that run around flapping there gums, saying very uninformed thoughts, that spread ignorance. Ignorance is a huge part of our problem!

  • mikeme

    Sorry but you will have to ask a member of the Illuminati to those answers!

  • mikeme

    If, and this is one hell of a big “if”, we can vote in a congress that will over turn the SCOTUS decision on corporate personhood, we would be able to get corporate money out of our elections. Its not a fix all, but its a dang good start, and without it, we are just spinning our wheels.

  • Movie Review: Inside Job (2010) |

    [...] because the institutions were “too big to fail.” The true amount of taxpayer funding, according to research of Bloomberg News, to ‘troubled banks’ and firms under all federal programs is $12.8 trillion. And [...]

  • Ongoing bank bailouts make mockery of budget talks - ALIPAC

    [...] and even that didn't get paid back. Even the low figures for the total cost of the bail-outs, $12 trillion to $14 trillion, are three times the size of an entire US budget. The money gets paid out month [...]

  • Ongoing bank bailouts make mockery of budget talks – Christian Forums

    [...] and even that didn't get paid back. Even the low figures for the total cost of the bail-outs, $12 trillion to $14 trillion, are three times the size of an entire US budget. The money gets paid out month [...]

  • Future May Hold Another Housing Bubble & Another $12.8 Trillion Bank Bailout | Daily Coronado

    [...] Bloomberg reporters followed the bailout money. Politicians and the media have misled us by stating that the bailout “only” cost taxpayers $700 billion through the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP in 2008. But Bloomberg news calculated that the true cost of bank bailout for American taxpayers is approximately $12.8 trillion and the full extent of the bailout has escaped public scrutiny. For a detailed explanation, click here. [...]

  • Gary Schock

    Why did the bank give them refinancing? Did the bank not know the said neighbors spending habits? It is very clear that the financial institution is aware of how and what we spend. Funny that we cannot get the same information about the Treasury.

  • SCOTUS: America’s Supremely Corrupt Supreme Court

    [...] shelled out $700 billion of the taxpayers’ money.  But that was just a drop in the bucket, according to an investigative team at Bloomberg News:  “…at one point last year the U.S. had lent, spent or guaranteed as much as $12.8 [...]

  • SCOTUS: America's Supremely Corrupt Supreme Court – Kerala Lawyer

    [...] shelled out $700 billion of the taxpayers’ money.   But that was just a drop in the bucket, according to an investigative team at Bloomberg News:   “”at one point last year the U.S. had lent, spent or guaranteed as much as $12.8 [...]

  • Politics of the Global Environment

    [...] U.S. federal support to the banks during the financial crisis added up to 12.8 trillion dollars (see video). Although not all of this money was actually spent (it could have had the situation worsened), the [...]

  • We Might Have Avoided The Financial Crisis If We’d Listened To John Dingell | Political Ration

    [...] Glass-Steagall. Years later, after deregulated banking practices and loan standards cost taxpayers more than $700 billion in bank bailouts, many of those lawmakers regretted their actions, including former President Bill [...]

  • We Might Have Avoided The Financial Crisis If We’d Listened To John Dingell | The Daily Float

    [...] Glass-Steagall. Years later, after deregulated banking practices and loan standards cost taxpayers more than $700 billion in bank bailouts, many of those lawmakers regretted their actions, including former President Bill [...]

  • Where’s Your Stand On Obama Today? – Page 10 – US Message Board – Political Discussion Forum

    [...] spoke with one, Bob Ivry, to talk about the true cost to the taxpayer of the Wall Street bailout. The true cost of the bank bailout | Need to Know | PBS Much of that money went to Obama's Wall Street buds who then took the money and ran overseas with [...]

  • Anonymous

    You don’t need any leaders at all, but I understand public elementary school and all that “pledge allegiance” to the flag stuff did things to you.