Bloomberg noted that most of the major banks receiving the below-market-rate loans made billions in profit from the Federal Reserve policies. The Federal Reserve Bank loaned funds to major Wall Street banks at rates of between 0.10 percent and 0.25 percent and at the same time banks were encouraged to purchase U.S. Treasury bills. Two-year Treasury bills the federal government was selling were fetching more than one percent interest. The deal borrowing at a discounted rate from one agency of the federal government and taking loans earning interest at a higher rate from another agency of government amounted to a cash transfer from the federal government to the big banks that Bloomberg estimated netted the banks some $13 billion in profit.
Meanwhile, some observers saw nothing wrong with the transfer of taxpayer funds to big Wall Street banks. Derek Thompson of The Atlantic wrote that the Federal Reserve was being criticized "for doing its job." Thompson stressed that the "job" of the Federal Reserve is to prevent a financial collapse, which he posited would have happened had more major banks failed.
The bailout revelations have already produced calls for congressional hearings on Capitol Hill. “Many Americans are struggling to understand why banks deserve such preferential treatment while millions of homeowners are being denied assistance and are at increasing risk of foreclosure,” Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a letter released to Bloomberg.com.