Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Auditing the Fed

Aristotle tells us that change comes in small increments.

Recently the Senate showed some courage by unanimously approving a small
change with an amendment to their Wall Street Reform Bill to audit the
emergency spending at the Federal Reserve. Senator Bernie Sanders, I-VT
wanted a full blown and ongoing audit of the Fed, a big change, but
settled for this watered down version, a smaller change, with an audit
of just the emergency spending. The audit scope will cover the period
when the Fed used its resources to help prop up the already failing
financial institutions and megabanks.

Why is this small change a step forward? Why is it important to audit
the Federal Reserve?

Because the Federal reserve is the unelected central bank of the U. S.
and enjoys a monopoly over the flow of our nation's money and credit.
The Fed has never operated in complete transparency and accountability
since its creation in 1913.

During the current economic crisis, Congress, the Treasury and the Fed
have put the American people on the hook for over $12 trillion in
national debt. Fed Chair Ben Bernanke has refused to disclose which
institutions have received trillions in bailouts. Bernanke has also not
shared with the representatives of the people in Congress the details
about what deals have been made with foreign banks.

So congratulations to Senator Bernie Sanders, I-VT, for reminding us of
the truth of what Robert Frost said about banks: "A bank is a place
where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back
again when it begins to rain." Perhaps this small audit of the Fed may
bring enough sunshine in to lead to big changes and fuller audits later.

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