The media is falling all over itself to report on every minutiae of the so-called Wall Street "bailout bill" and its rejection by Congress yesterday (just a few of the thousands of examples can be seen here and here and here and here). And why not? The media's breathless coverage of the bill has produced a furious backlash by the public and hysteria on Wall Street in a self-justifying feedback loop that makes the media attention seem merited.
The startling truth which the controlled corporate media is not reporting, however, is that a bailout is actually taking place right now, completely out of the public spotlight. This program has already pumped trillions of dollars into Wall Street (compared to the mere $700 billion proposed in the legislation that the media is focusing on) to help prop up the faltering investment banks and promises to pump in even more, every dime of it to the detriment of the taxpayer though the public will have no stake in its success. Why, then, is this program not being talked about in the media?
Slipping under the radar last week amidst the hullabaloo in Washington over the bailout bill was this story noting that in the past week alone, the Federal Reserve had pumped an astonishing $188 billion per day into the system in the form of emergency credit. This means that in just four days, the Fed injected as much money into the system as the entire $700 billion bailout proposal. After the proposal was rejected, the Fed responded by immediately announcing it would pour another $630 billion into the global financial system.
The Federal Reserve, of course, is America's central bank and although the above story conjures the reassuring image of a national bank lending out some of its vast reserves to help Wall Street weather the storm, the fact is that the Federal Reserve is not Federal and has doubtful reserves. In fact, the trillions of dollars that have been lent to the banks in the last few weeks were created out of nothing by the privately-owned Federal Reserve. When the Federal Reserve "lends" money to a bank through repurchase agreements (repos), credit auction or other method, it is not actually lending out money from its vaults. It is simply creating the money it "lends" out as electronic credits created in the recipient banks account. It is literally money out of thin air.
That the general public is on the hook for this money created out of nothing is not an exaggeration. It is paid for in a dimly-understood mechanism often known as the "inflation tax."
Inflation is nothing more than an indication that the ratio of money to products that can be purchased with that money has been increased. Since the overall number of dollars has gone up without any corresponding increase in economic production (as happens when the Federal Reserve creates money out of thin air), the value of each individual dollar goes down. That means that the value of the money in each individuals' bank account (not to mention their pension and social security dividends) can be reduced simply by the flick of a pen of a Federal Reserve paper-pusher. (Unless of course that individual just happens to be a billionaire investment mogul or a Vice President who can divest themselves of U.S. dollars in time for this inflation not to affect them.) This is sometimes known as an inflation tax because its overall effect is the same as if the government came in and took that value out of the individuals' bank account. Watch Ron Paul explain the inflation tax in the video below:
The most insidious part of this inflation tax is that the inflation does not begin until the new money begins to circulate in the system. In other words, the first person (or, more likely, giant corporate conglomerate) to use the money receives its full value, while those at the bottom of the pyramid retrieve the diminished returns of a devaluing dollar.
Why, then, is the public not furious about this stealth bailout, now taking place at the blistering pace of nearly $1 trillion a week, and all to the taxpayer's detriment? The obvious answer is that the media is not whipping the public into a frenzy about it, instead focusing its attention on a $700 billion program and allowing the public to feel like they scored a blow against Wall Street when the program gets rejected. If so, it's time the public got wise to how the system is really being run by and for the benefit of private bankers and at the expense of the average taxpayer. Otherwise, the fleecing of the public will continue unabated even as the public thinks they've won the battle.