Ben Bernanke Gave Wall Street an Unbelievably Sweet Interest Rate on That Secret $80 Billion Loan

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That was supposed to be secret, you guys.Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Without Congress's, the public's, or even shareholders' knowledge, firms like Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse borrowed $80 billion from the Federal Reserve in the wake of Lehman Brothers' collapse. But before you blame Wall Street for covering their losses at taxpayers' expense, just know that Ben Bernanke was practically begging them to take the cash. Although the Fed's main lending agency was charging 0.5 percent interest at the time, banks got the funds for the rock bottom interest rate of 0.01 percent. [Bloomberg]