In the depths of the financial collapse, the U.S. Federal Reserve pumped $3.3 trillion into keeping credit moving through the economy. It eventually lent $57.9 billion to the auto industry — including $26.8 billion to Ford, Toyota and BMW.
The Fed on Wednesday was forced to reveal the identity of the companies it aided during the crisis, after contending to Congress that keeping their identities and the details of such lending secret was essential. Much of Wall Street, and corporate giants such as General Electric, Harley Davidson and McDonald's, took advantage of the Fed's help. We've done the math on how the Fed propped up the auto industry.
While Chrysler and General Motors had to go to Congress to beg for cash in 2008, every other automaker's finance arm was having trouble as well. Typically, once they lend money to a buyer, they sell the loan, get the cash upfront, then pump the proceeds back into the business. They also take out short-term loans called commercial paper that keeps the day-to-day business afloat. The crash cut the circuit, raising the chances the automakers couldn't make loans to buyers and keep selling new vehicles.