“TARP” was just the tip of the iceberg in public funds going to the banksters

Homeowners in America are still screwed. As more records from the Federal Reserve go public – we’re learning that the 2008 bailout of Wall Street – known as “TARP” – was just the tip of the iceberg in public funds going to the banksters. In December of 2008 – the Fed secretly gave more than $1.2 trillion in virtually interest-free loans to big banks like Morgan Stanley – Citigroup – and Bank of America. That’s $1.2 trillion! Coincidentally – that’s about how much it would cost to save 6-and-a-half million homeowners who are delinquent on their mortgages and facing foreclosure.

In other words – a clear choice was made in 2008 to help banksters or help bilked homeowners – and the Fed chose the banksters. So today – it’s no wonder that banksters are seeing record profits again – while millions of Americans are still being kicked out of their homes. Yet another example of how the banksters in an out of government are taking care of their own. Given the choice between working people's homes or banksters million-dollar penthouses, the Fed chose the Banksters. Meanwhile, George Bush and Congress agreed and threw another $800 billion to the banksters.

Now Obama wants to help working people, and it’s time for Republicans to drop their opposition and pass a news jobs and stimulus package ASAP.


DRichards's picture
DRichards 12 years 48 weeks ago

I-N-S-O-L-V-E-N-T: Citigroup Was In Debt To The Fed 7 Out Of Every 10 Days From August 2007 Through April 2010

Bloomberg notes, in an article entitled "Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2T in Loans":

Citigroup was in debt to the Fed on seven out of every 10 days from August 2007 through April 2010, the most frequent U.S. borrower among the 100 biggest publicly traded firms by pre- crisis market valuation. On average, the bank had a daily balance at the Fed of almost $20 billion.

“Citibank basically was sustained by the Fed for a very long time,” said Richard Herring, a finance professor at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia who has studied financial crises.

In other words, Citi was wholly insolvent, but the Fed decided to keep it moving, at least as a zombie.

The Bloomberg article includes a great quote:

“Why in hell does the Federal Reserve seem to be able to find the way to help these entities that are gigantic?” U.S. Representative Walter B. Jones, a Republican from North Carolina, said at a June 1 congressional hearing in Washington on Fed lending disclosure. “They get help when the average businessperson down in eastern North Carolina, and probably across America, they can’t even go to a bank they’ve been banking with for 15 or 20 years and get a loan.”http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 12 years 48 weeks ago

Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Trump have publicly advocated plunder, which is a war crime.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 12 years 48 weeks ago

It's the "interest-free" aspect which is especially nauseating. Regular people are paying 29% interest and late fees and/or towing and impound fees on car title loans just to keep their lights on.

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 12 years 48 weeks ago

I'd be interested in seeing what Mark has to say about corporations that are "on the dole."

DRichards's picture
DRichards 12 years 48 weeks ago

Re: Those who abuse the "system"

A question for the gentleman who called in complaining about those who abuse the "system"; Because there are those who abuse capitalism, should that system be done away with as well?

DRichards's picture
DRichards 12 years 48 weeks ago


Libya also has 143.8 tons of gold ... and some speculate that is the real reason for the invasion.

Schmice's picture
Schmice 12 years 48 weeks ago

We are collateral damage and they just see it as a cost of doing business.

Mark_Pash's picture
Mark_Pash 12 years 48 weeks ago

A new stimulus package indirectly helps solve our growth problem because deficit spending forces the monetary system/Federal Reserve to create money and infuse it into the economy. But the real answer is complete monetary reform. Please review the Monetary Reform section of our website at www.progressive-economics.com of the Center for Progressive Economics. We feel that we have a similar but more complete and political answer for monetary reform than the American Monetary Insititute.

Mark Pash, CFP - Center for Progressive Economics

Jefferson's daughter's picture
Jefferson's daughter 12 years 48 weeks ago

What should be done is to pass The Glass Stegall Act and get rid of the Banksters. However Obama says he will veto Glass Stegall so Americans have to push their Congresspeople to pass it. Right now some Democrats and some Republicans have signed on to it....We need more to do it...and push Obama to stand down against Glass Stegall

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 12 years 48 weeks ago

The republicans- even poor republicans!- are welded to the idea of trickle-up economics, where the corporations and wealthy people get all of the government handouts, subsidies, tax breaks, and so on, and then- and this is where you see their total disconnect from reality- in their fantasy version of tricke-down economics, the corporations and wealthy people say, "Oh here, let's all help the middle class and the poor."

The only problem with that fantasy is just that: it's a fantasy. No matter how many handouts, subsidies, and tax breaks the corporations and the wealthy get, they have NEVER helped the middle class or the poor. They stockpile the money they are given, and use it to fuel their mergers and acquisitions, and they raise interest rates on the middle class and poor people. This is how it's worked every time, for decades.

The cure? Well, the cure is obvious: TRICKLE-UP economics. Give none of the money- not one penny- to the corporations and wealthy people. Give all of the handouts, subsidies, and tax breaks to the middle class and the poor people, and raise taxes on the corporations and the wealthy people- especially capital gains. The reason this works is obvious: when the middle class and poor people have more money, they spend most of it, because they HAVE to, in order to eat and pay the rent, and the corporations that own the food stores and apartment complexes and houses still end up with the money. And if the middle class and poor people have a little money left over, they go on vacations and again the corporations that own the hotels, motels, cruise ships, and airlinesg get most of that money, too. But with trickle-up economics, the corporations and wealthy people have to DO something to get almost all of everyone's money- they have to provide consumer goods or services to get the money.


Republicans are always talking about how wonderful capitalism and the free market are, but what they're really talking about is legalized theft. They are talking about stealing money from the middle class and the poor, cheating them, defrauding them, and forcing them to carry the entire tax burden and get none of the benefits. And that is not capitalism, it is bribery, theft, fraud, and malfeasance.

And I'm going to make a prediction: when the southerners and the midwesterners finally figure out that the republicans have been bull___ing them, they're not going to be happy about it. So, how have the republicans trained their supporters to behave when they are not happy with someone? I'll give you a hint: it's all Old Testament, eye-for-an-eye stuff.

Uh-oh. Doesn't look good for the corporations and the wealthy...

wmstoll's picture
wmstoll 12 years 48 weeks ago

Really excellent idea, although it appears their history needs some refreshing. From he time of Jackson, with his "pet banks" and Van Burens "sub treasure" there was no central bank, that is until 1913. All those recessions, starting with 1837, were the result of the federal governments inability to exercise monetary policy. But I do like the idea of congress taking control, and then politically allocating investment capital to their chosen beneficiary.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 12 years 48 weeks ago

It really would be nice if Obama acted like a democrat, instead of just talking like one.

miriamhamsa's picture
miriamhamsa 12 years 48 weeks ago

Why would Obama start acting in accord with his words now? Why start on jobs now, instead of when he really had a much better chance of getting legislation through. No, I think he knows there is no chance, so it sounds good for his re-election campaign.

The only campaign promise he kept was sending more troops to Afghanistan. Everything else was a lie. It is giving me a modicum of respect of GWB - at least his legislative actions were exactly in accord with his words - awful as it all was. As I keep saying "half white man speak with forked tongue." Obama is a DINO.

Tea Party's picture
Tea Party 12 years 48 weeks ago

Spoken like a true Tea Partier Thom! We were screaming about this in 2007 at the top of our lungs, before we even came together under the Tea Party label. Also the reason why the present ruling class must be sent packing on a vacation with Ghadaffi, regardless of party affiliation.

Mark Williams

Amelia Brown's picture
Amelia Brown 12 years 48 weeks ago

tarp was the tip of the iceberg.. check out this youtube video:


The situation is hopeless... Unless Obama forces the lenders to mark to market all of those underwater loans, ie. drop the prinicipal balances down to fair market value and let all the people stay in their homes, the housing market will never recover. Until it recovers the economy will never recover.

The New York Times reported that 6 million homes have been foreclosed upon already (making how many children homeless?) And 14.6 million homes are underwater.... WHAT IF ALL OF THEM STOPPED MAKING PAYMENTS IN THE SAME MONTH? WOULDN'T THAT BE A GREAT REVOLUTION... A SILENT, BLOODLESS ONE ? Would we get the attention of the banksters then?There are not enough buyers out there to buy all of those homes. To foreclose, make people homeless, then bulldoze the houses... Is that the senario..? then what will be in this economy, society? Geeze...


WHICH IS AT LEAST 33% LESS THAN IT WAS 5 YEARS AGO... so those people who put their life savngs of 20% down into a home are wiped out.

the Banksters have robbed all of us!!They and the Feds are laughing all the way to their banks and their profits and the middle class is hurting, badly!!

Help organize a boycott of not making mortgage payments if you are underwater. After all if you have lost your 20% down, here is a way to recover some of it... Live free in the house... If enough people did that at one time we can really organize a revolution!!

they could never handle 14.6 million foreclosures at the same time and MERS probably claims ownership of them, and they have been robosigned and its a mess.... If we did that we would get their attention!!

CharlesN 12 years 48 weeks ago

I've said it often when the captitalists won't spend, the Government, "We the People" the majority invest in ourselves. A graphic I came across a while ago speaks volumes to laissez faire, trickle down ecomomics.


jdjay's picture
jdjay 12 years 48 weeks ago

Hi Thom, enjoyed the show today. I particularly enjoyed the perspective of one of your callers named Jason from Washington D.C. discussing Israel. I know a lot of people get tired of hearing about Israel but it has been one of the most if not the most important foreign policy issues for over 50 years now (I could be a bit off on that). The best explanation I have seen or read about Israel has been given by Noam Chomsky although I do feel that sometimes he can be a bit extreme especially in the degree of accountability that he places on Pres. Obama. Frankly, all I have to say is look at the size of the Pentagon. There is only so much the Pres. can do to change things. He did express the sentiments of his heart on numerous occasions though where he said he felt that they should go back to the old borders before the realligment. That situation actually gave us a good idea of how limited the Pres. is in dealing with certain areas of foreign policy. There are certain areas that are obviously not to be touched and are not subject to change. Which necessitates the question, who is really in charge of our foreign policy decisons in regard to Israel? I guess it is Israel. I guess that is the point, I don't know. Maybe you have a different take on it? I can only imagine the heavy criticism that the Pres. faced after making those statements about going back to the previous border alignment.

I would like to hear your take on the whole Israel situation especially in terms of what direct role they play in American politics. Your caller today started to discuss the scope of lobbying that Israeli's are involved in and I'm not sure I heard him right but I think he said that they contribute over 40% of the campaign contributions? Was he saying that American Jews are doing this? Anyhow, I was hoping to get some clarification and explanation on this issue. Is this Jewish alliance an essential element of the elitist corporate movement or is this money serving the interest of true democratic power distribution at least to a certain degree? I guess it is a bit of both? And how much are these "banksters" associated with this Jewish alliance? I am not at all an anti-semite. In fact two of my biggest heros are Jewish. Nonetheless every race has its share of bad apples.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 12 years 48 weeks ago

The hope of Republican support for a stimulus package is complete nonsense. With the debt reduction, anti-stimulus deal, they've already set the drought-stricken economic woods on fire. They don't want to even see the smoke clear until some theocratic nut "hearing voices" is sitting in the White House.

monsoonman's picture
monsoonman 12 years 48 weeks ago

Unless every Representative and Senator hears loudly and clearly from his/her constituents that we are opposed to these obstructionist policies, and demand that they put people over ideology, there wil be a continuation of gridlock. Each of us, who call ourselves liberal or progressive must start to try to influence our own circles.

We need also to congratualate and thank those Congresspersons who vote for the liberal agenda. They are beleaguered by conservative constituents and lobbyists to compromise their principle. They need to know that we are with them.

Our President needs to stand firm for principle and use his office to take his message to all the people. There can be no compromise with political opponents who seem to make it a point of honor to bring down the President (and the country) rather than work to fund job creation and allow us to pay our bills. Why should there be any linkage between raising the debt ceiling and paying our authorized debts? Continuing to kick the can down the road by appointing a so-called Super Commitee to decide these issue . . . later . . .is idiotic and doomed to failure.

President Obama and the Senate must lay out a clear program for growth and show the consequences of failure to the American people. Most people oppose the present deadlock in Congress. All polls clearly show that the population opposes cuts in Social Security (a total red herring issue), Medicare and Medicaid, so long as the people see how it will effect them.

Why can't we take that to the political bank and cash it

acarstensen's picture
acarstensen 12 years 48 weeks ago

"Now Obama wants to help working people, and its time for Republicans to drop their opposition and pass a news jobs and stimulus package ASAP." - Hartmann

Does anyone else tire of Thom always making this Republicans vs Democrats? The Democrats are damn near as bad, and Obama clearly doesn't really want to help working people, he just wants to continue the transfer of wealth upwards. Thom is too smart not to know this, but he insists on playing this game and justifies it with the old "gotta have a Democrat in the White House to appoint the next Supreme Court Justice" canard.

If we are not brave enough to oppose Obama's depraved agenda, regardless of the high stakes, we are doomed.

MaryMary's picture
MaryMary 12 years 48 weeks ago

Acarstsen, You nailed it. This Republican vs Democrats is a red herring that keeps problem solvers from focusing on the sorry state of our economy. A economic problem does not have a political solution.

wmstoll's picture
wmstoll 12 years 48 weeks ago

We have an excellent example of congress allocating capital, Fannie/Freddie.

jdjay's picture
jdjay 12 years 48 weeks ago

I'm sure you guys have seen this since the group has been around for a long time but just in case you haven't or need to be reminded, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZEvA8BCoBw&feature=youtu.be

I confess I have not really given the idea that the U.S. was behind 9/11 much if any credibility until recent when I realized how close Bush was with the Saudi's and how many ties he had to terrorist networks. And now this video is the clincher for me. It's no longer a matter of possibly but definitley for me. Building 7 was their major discrepancy, as pointed out in the video. There was no possible justification for building 7 imploding as it did. There were not even significant fires in #7 prior to its collapse. And you can hear explosions much like you would hear with any coordinated demolition. Just look at the crudentials of the experts in this video. They are an elite group of architects and mechanical engineers, 1500 of them.

It's hard to believe that the American empire could be this evil but when you look at the scope of the wars that this event has produced and the scope of corporate power and profit that has been generated as a direct result of 9/11 I guess 3000 lives was a small sacrifice for them. How horrible is the hell going to be for those responsible for this? They have no idea how severe and how long they will be tortured for this incredibly evil abomination.

LivingOverseas 12 years 48 weeks ago

Heres my synopsis: The U.S. is beyond hope. The Religious Right (GOP) strategically uses "Religion" aka "I'm a god fearing Christian" to find "common ground" (choke, choke) with the uneducated, equally "religious" poor. Brilliant! Just mention praying for god to help the nation (Tip: Praying or not praying = it always boils down to "god's will, doesn't it?...Arghh) and Bingo! ...everyone is rallying around multimillionaire "god fearing" condidate. I lost my job due to the fact that I was actually advising my staff to process medical claims quickly, so the customers could actually pay their bills. Paying claims on time or before time, was a practice "frowned upon" (yeah, how much interest did you say you were accruing while you sat on the claims?) After an "intervention" with the upper management regarding my too eager/compassionate attitude, I was fired. Two years later...no job...not even for minimum wage. SO...I moved to Europe and even before I arrived, had a job offer. In fact, I have had multiple offers since I moved here (and in short order). My suggestion? MOVE OUT OF THE COUNTRY! Maybe those multimillionaires can become their own tax basis! Seriously, folks...All this crap about "Take Back America!"...What is there to "take back"? DUH! Something is only worth something if there is money in the coffers to back it up. This is not rocket science. You have no idea of just how bad things are there, unless you have the luxury of watching it with a non-American who can only say: "You have to be kidding? A city in America that can't support a fire department?" PATHETIC!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 12 years 48 weeks ago

Great earthquake you're having there, Thom! You probably thought you were moving away from all of that when you left the left coast. I was shocked when I saw you bouncing around there during your show.

I knew someone (a co-worker), when I was working in California, who got shook up in our 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and decided to move back to the St. Louis area. It wasn't long before St. Louis had an earthquake as well. Then I had a friend who lived in the Buffalo, NY area who thought living in California, with all those earthquakes, was silly...then they had an earthquake epicenter just over the Canadian border. The problem with some of these areas is that they still use brick and cement to build their houses. And some of those old brick buildings are not built to withstand much of a shocker. I heard some of the spires from the National Cathedral fell down.

One of the biggest concerns, as we could see from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami was the vulnerability of the nuclear power plants. The North Anna Nuclear Power Plant, in Virginia, is located just about 11.37 miles NNE of the 5.9 epicenter. The epicenter was 5 miles south and 1 mile west of Mineral, Va. There was no known damage to the Nuke Plant...and they shut down as a precautionary measure...but it could have been worse....or even disastrous. I noticed that there have been, over the years, a number of smaller earthquakes in that general area...like 3.1, etc. In 1984, there was a 4.2 earthquake with an epicenter just a few miles west of Palmyra which was only 22 miles SSW of today's epicenter. And there have been more recent, but smaller ones, just to the south of today's epicenter. I don't know why they seem to put Nuclear Power Plants in locations that are prone to natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis.

tower20's picture
tower20 12 years 48 weeks ago

And now we hear that the Obama Administration wants to make a deal with the banks to indemnify and absolve them from their criminal activity involving the sale of mortgage backed securities­, the MERS mortgage mess, and the rampant filing of illegal foreclosur­es. And they're going so far as to pressure New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderm­an to drop his investigat­ions into the widespread criminal activity perpetrate­d by the too big to fail banks. The administra­tions solution? Have the banks pay a civil fine. Are we moving toward a country where the rich are exempted from the laws of the land and the reach of the justice system by paying a fine? Where the victims of those crimes are excluded from the process, loose their rights to seek redress, and are considered collateral damage in the noble effort to keep "The Economy" healthy? Once again, the health of the banks balance sheets is proving more important then the health and well being of the American people.

wmstoll's picture
wmstoll 12 years 48 weeks ago

What is criminal about trading mortgage backed securities. If they didn't, they would run out of money for mortgages. Keep in mind, that it was the purpose of Fannie/Freddie (government) to buy sub-prime mortgages, securitize them, and guarantee them. To prosecute the "banksters" they would also have to prosecute congress.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Hartmann combines a remarkable piece of historical research with a brilliant literary style to tell the grand story of corporate corruption and its consequences for society with the force and readability of a great novel."
David C. Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World and Agenda for A New Economy
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom is a national treasure. Read him, embrace him, learn from him, and follow him as we all work for social change."
Robert Greenwald, political activist and founder and president of Brave New Films
From Screwed:
"I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom’s great work, it helps show us the way forward."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While