The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Michael Briggs or Will Wiquist (202) 224-5141

Sanders' Bill Would Make Fed Disclose Loan Recipients


Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today introduced legislation
to demand disclosure of the financial institutions that have received more
than $2.2 trillion in taxpayer-backed loans and other financial assistance
from the Federal Reserve.

introduced the bill after the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, in
testimony before the Senate Budget Committee, refused to identify the banks.

At the hearing,
Bernanke told Sanders that "hundreds and hundreds of banks"
tapped the loan fund. "Can you tell us who they are?" Sanders
pressed. "No," Bernanke said, because it would be
"counterproductive." "Isn't that too bad?" Sanders interjected.
"Isn't that too bad in they took the money but they don't want to be
public about the fact that they received it?"

previously sought the names of the loan recipients in a February 4 letter to
Bernanke. "Given the size of these commitments it is incomprehensible
that the American people have not received specific details about
them," Sanders wrote.

The senator had asked
Bernanke in writing to identify each business the Federal Reserve assisted in
the past two years, sought details on the type and value of the assistance,
the repayment terms, and the rationale for the taxpayer-backed loans.

Bernanke refused
to offer specifics.

Sanders, who
voted against the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, noted that the Treasury
Department has identified the banks and other firms that received those
funds. "Why is there transparency for the $700 billion but secrecy
about the $2.2 trillion?" Sanders asked.

To read the
bill, click here.

To read Sanders letter to Bernanke, click here.

United States Senator for Vermont

(202) 224-5141