For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Michael Briggs or Will Wiquist (202) 224-5141

Senator Bernie Sanders

Sanders: Where Did $2 Trillion Go?

WASHINGTON - Senator Bernie Sanders
asked Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke to identify the recipients of
more than $2 trillion in emergency loans and other federal assistance.

"Taxpayers
have no idea where incredibly huge bundles of their money are going,"
Sanders said. "The secrecy may be legal, but it's not
right."

"I've
heard hours of discussion on the floor of the Senate about $18 billion in
earmarks, but I have not heard one minute of discussion about the
appropriateness of who is getting $2 trillion," he added.

The
amount that the Federal Reserve has committed is more than triple the
separate $700 billion authorized by an emergency Wall Street bailout bill
that Congress passed last fall over Sanders' opposition.

Bernanke
did not offer specifics during testimony before the House Financial Services
Committee today hours after Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner outlined a
massive $2 trillion plan that he said is needed to stabilize the nation's
banking system.

In
a February 4 letter to the central bank chairman, Sanders asked Bernanke to
identify each business the Federal Reserve assisted in the past two
years.  The senator also sought details on the type and value of the
assistance, the repayment terms, and the rationale for the taxpayer-backed
loans. 

"Without
concrete information it is impossible to know whether these obligations are
being made prudently, without conflicts of interest, and on terms that are
favorable to the American taxpayer," Sanders wrote in the letter to
Bernanke.

"Given
the size of these commitments it is incomprehensible that the American people
have not received specific details about them. Nor have the American
people's elected representatives who are granted the 'power of
the purse' under our Constitution been given specific details."

If
the Federal Reserve refuses to release the information, Sanders said he will
introduce legislation to require them to do so.

For
a copy of Sanders' letter to Bernanke, click here.

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