This week, my congressional committee will hold a hearing to examine how the Federal Reserve bails out European banks, propping up spendthrift European governments in the process. Unfortunately, this bailout comes at the expense of American citizens, in the form of higher prices and diminished savings down the road.
A good analysis of the Fed's "swap" scheme first appeared in the Wall Street Journal back in December, in an article by Gerald O'Driscoll entitled, "The Federal Reserve's Covert Bailout of Europe." Essentially, beginning late last year the Fed provided US dollars to the European Central Bank in exchange for Euros − sometimes as much as $100 billion at a time. The ECB then funneled those dollars to European banks to provide liquidity and prevent crises from bank insolvencies.