Wednesday, May 05, 2010
For almost a Century, the Federal Reserve System has engaged in a 'mission creep' that has extended its power and authority way beyond its Congressional authorization. Originally established to insure a stable money supply and to prevent the hyper-inflation that less-developed countries chronically endure, the "Fed" has expanded to become the nations primary guardian of gold reserves, controller of the currency, auditor of all federally-chartered banks, and check clearinghouse. In the last two years, they have stepped front-and-center into the nation's financial crisis, allowing Lehman Brothers to go belly-up while 'arranging' for the saving of AIG and Merryl Lynch. Through their "Troubled Asset Relief Program" (TARP), the Fed has permitted banks to borrow American taxpayer funds anonymously, and had lowered the Federal Discount Rate so low that loose credit has enabled insolvent and arrogant banking corporations to plunder the nations funds in legalized gambling with taxpayer funds and fraudulent financial instruments. Tellingly, some Regional Federal Reserve branches (Dallas in particular) have strenuously and openly disagreed with the decisions of what is arguably the most powerful institution in America.
Through all this, the Fed has remained insulated from acountability: with 7 Governors having terms of 14 years each (more than any elected official in the nation other than some NY Judgeships), and no congressional approval needed for their decisions to create money, influence interest rates, or determine how much banks must - or should - lend, the Fed has conducted the nations banking without having ever being audited.
A coalition of Senators and Members of Congress from the Left (Bernie Sanders) and the Libertarian Right (Ron Paul) have called for accountability and an audit of the Federal Reserve System. Today, New Hampshire Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen has added her voice to sponsoring this legislation.
She stands in stark contrast to Republican NH Senator Judd Gregg, who has defended the Fed's insularity and has attempted to block any audit of this institution.
Today's press release:
"Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) will co-sponsor an amendment that would require government auditors to open up the books at the Federal Reserve.
The "audit the Fed" measure, first introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), is actually popular on both sides of the aisle, but is staunchly opposed by the White House, the Fed and the financial industry. Sanders is trying to round up the 60 votes it need to overcome a likely filibuster.
The Obama administration will most likely be under intense pressure to veto the entire financial reform bill if "audit the fed" survives.
Reporting by Brian Beutler"
Now...which party is for accountability, transparency, and responsibility in government? Which party is being fiscally responsible?