About Time

Fed Reveals Its Welfare Rolls

The Federal Reserve released over 21,000 transactions Wednesday that detail the $3.3 trillion in emergency assistance the central bank paid out during the 2008 financial crisis to companies like AIG and Bear Stearns. The transactions span six emergency loan programs and reveal the amount given to each organization and the interest rate charged. The Fed said in a statement that it followed sound fiscal principles in its lending, but the release comes at a politically inopportune moment: just when the central bank is trying to defend itself from Republicans attacking it for adding $600 billion in monetary stimulus.