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Congress Held a Hearing on the Fed’s Bailout of the Repo Market: Here’s Why You Haven’t Heard About It

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Actress Louise Linton and Husband, U.S. Treasury Secretary  Steve Mnuchin

Actress Louise Linton and Husband, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin Showing Off His Signature on U.S. Currency at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in 2017

Last Thursday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was the sole witness called before the House Financial Services Committee to answer questions on the state of financial stability in the U.S. Under the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010, the U.S. Treasury Secretary also heads the Financial Stability Oversight Council (F-SOC) which is charged with monitoring any threats to the stability of the U.S. financial system in order to prevent a replay of the epic financial crash of 2008 and attendant devastation to the U.S. economy.

During the hearing, Mnuchin was grilled time and again by numerous Republicans and Democrats on what is necessitating the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (New York Fed) to be pumping out hundreds of billions of dollars per week to Wall Street trading houses via the repurchase agreement (repo loan) market.

But instead of reporting on that critical line of questioning and Mnuchin’s lack of meaningful answers, when the New York Times reported on the hearing it focused instead on a tiny aspect of the hearing. Its headline read: “U.S. Objects to World Bank’s Lending Plans for China.” It made no mention at all of the still unexplained but ongoing repo crisis on Wall Street.

Since the repo lending crisis started on September 17, when major Wall Street banks simply backed away from overnight lending to some financial institutions, forcing loan rates to spike to 10 percent from approximately 2 percent, the New York Times has written exactly one article on this new financial crisis. Wall Street On Parade has written more than three dozen articles on this critical topic.

During last Thursday’s hearing, Mnuchin attempted to pass off the repo loan crisis as a two-day event that occurred on September 16 and 17. The lack of reporting on the matter by the New York Times would tend to support that narrative in the public’s mind.


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