by Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Wall Street on Parade
The language that Republican Senator Pat Toomey inserted into the final stimulus bill (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021) appears below. It not only restricts the Federal Reserve’s ability to extend some of its current emergency lending programs that help small and medium size businesses and state and local governments beyond December 31 of this year (while leaving Wall Street bailout programs alive for at least another 90 days) but it also enshrines the autonomy of the U.S. Treasury Secretary to operate a massive slush fund – the Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF).
Most Americans have never heard of the Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund. It was created in 1934 to provide support to the U.S. dollar during the Great Depression. The ESF has grown from $94.3 billion in assets prior to Trump taking office to a balance of $681 billion as of October 31, 2020. As recently as March 31, 2007, the ESF had assets of just $45.9 billion.