Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke

The Washington Post is reporting that the Federal Reserve pumped trillions of dollars in emergency aid not just to Wall Street but also to motorcycle makers, telecom firms and foreign-owned banks in 2008 and 2009. The article states that the Fed's efforts to prop up the financial sector reached across a broad spectrum of the economy, benefiting stalwarts of American industry. including General Electric and Caterpillar and household-name companies such as Verizon, Harley-Davidson and Toyota. The central bank's aid programs also supported U.S. subsidiaries of banks based in East Asia, Europe and Canada while rescuing money-market mutual funds held by millions of Americans. The Fed maintains that it had to stabilize a financial system that was on the verge of collapse in late 2008. Critics argue that there should have been more disclosure of where the bailout money was going and the terms under which it was to be repaid. One thing is increasingly clear: Whether it's tax cuts or bailouts, the economic interests of most Americans seem to be last on the list.

Read more at the Washington Post.