Many were shocked to learn that foreign banks were the largest recipients of the Federal Reserve’s discount loan program during the height of the financial crisis. Unfortunately, providing emergency cash to foreign banks is just one “absurdity from the recession-era financial markets,” as dubbed by The Blaze. According to Bloomberg News, the Federal Reserve also handed out $80 billion in secretive loans to banks at absurdly low interest rates.
Echoing the Obama administration’s characterization of the tax breaks being enjoyed by the five major oil companies (Exxon, ConocoPhillips, BP America, Shell, and Chevron) as "subsidies," the Senate tried to remove them on Tuesday, but failed.
That bump you just felt was the U.S. Treasury running up against the federal debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion. It happened on May 16 and was, as all the proponents of raising the ceiling warned, supposed to precipitate the greatest economic catastrophe in history.
Although Monday, May 16th is the day the financial world was supposed to end as the federal government’s spending hit the debt ceiling, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (left) announced that he was able to put off that day of reckoning until August 2nd. In a letter to Congress, Geithner said that by borrowing from a pension fund belonging to federal workers and from an emergency fund set up to “help deal with foreign financial crises” coupled with slightly higher tax revenues than expected, he is able to stave off the inevitable until early August. But he warned that failure to raise the debt ceiling by that date “would have a catastrophic economic impact.”
Buried in the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the Consumer Price Index was some disconcerting news. On the surface, there appeared to be little to be concerned about, with the index “for all items, less food and energy” rising just 0.2 percent in April. On an annual basis, the BLS “all items” index increased just 3.2 percent over the past 12 months.