Unanswered Questions In Libya

Bloomberg reports, the Libyan Transitional National Council “created a new national oil company to replace the corporation controlled by leader Muammar Qaddafi whose assets were frozen by the United Nations Security Council… and designated the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and the appointment of a governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi.”

The Economic Collapse Blog opined, “apparently someone felt that it was very important to get pesky matters such as control of the banks and control of the money supply out of the way even before a new government is formed… Since the old Central Bank of Libya was state owned, it was essentially under the control of Moammar Gadhafi.
But now that Libya is going to be ‘free’ the new Central Bank of Libya will be run by Libyans and solely for the benefit of Libyans, right?
Of course it is probably safe to assume that will be the case with the new national oil company as well, isn’t it?”

Additionally, The Economic Collapse Blog writes, “When Barack Obama looked straight into the camera and told the American people that the war in Libya is in the ‘strategic interest’ of the United States, surely he was not referring to oil.
After all, war for oil was a ‘Bush thing’, right? The Democrats voted for Obama to end wars like this, right?”

Maybe controlling the economy of Libya holds some “strategic interest” to the government of the United States. It is probably a coincidence that the Federal Reserve gave the “old” central bank up to $35 billion in very low interest loans. It is also most likely a coincidence that the “old” central bank of Libya was exempted from UN sanctions. And it is most likely a coincidence that the owners of the “new” central bank are not disclosed. No one knows for sure if anyone in control of the “new” central bank was also in a position of power with the “old” central bank. And no one knows for sure whether or not any of the loans made to the “old” central bank have been transfered to the “new” bank.

Senator Bernie Sanders sent a letter to Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke asking for answers. He writes, “it is incomprehensible to me that while creditworthy small businesses in Vermont and throughout the country could not receive affordable loans, the Federal Reserve was providing tens of billions of dollars in credit to a bank that is substantially owned by the Central Bank of Libya.”
Among the questions Sanders has asked:
Why would the US government exempt the Arab Banking Corporation from economic sanctions when it is primarily owned by the Central Bank of Libya?
How many US Treasury Securities does the Arab Banking Corporation currently own?
How much money has the Federal Reserve lent to the Arab Banking Corporation since December 1, 2010?
Sanders also asks one final “disturbing question”: Why would the U.S. government allow a bank that is primarily owned by the Central Bank of Libya… to operate two branches within our own borders?

I agree with Mr. Sanders, “the American people deserve answers to these questions.”