Ron Paul: “Bernie Sanders has sold out and sided with Chris Dodd to gut Audit the Fed in the Senate.
- From: Superdave <the.big.rst.kahuna@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 07 May 2010 12:33:15 +0800
Audit the Fed Amendment Modified ? Allows Fed To Keep Secrets
By RonPaul.com on May 6, 2010
Ron Paul just posted the following message on Facebook:
Ron Paul: ?Bernie Sanders has sold out and sided with Chris Dodd to gut
Audit the Fed in the Senate. His ?compromise? is what the Administration and
banking interests want: they?ll allow the TARP and TALF to be audited, but no
transparency of the FOMC, discount window operations or agreement with foreign
central banks. We need to take action and stop this!?
John Tate (Campaign for Liberty) immediately sent out the following alert:
Dear C4L Member,
Any time you find out Senator Chris Dodd is in support of something ? watch
According to our sources on the Hill, Senator Bernie Sanders caved to
pressure from the White House and Chris Dodd and stripped out the Paul-Grayson
language from his Fed transparency amendment.
What Sanders is now proposing is essentially the Watt amendment we all
opposed last year in the House. In addition, it supports just a one-time audit.
Talking Points Memo reports that, ?In order to allay some of the White
House?s and the Fed?s concerns, Sanders has agreed to limit the scope of what
the Government Accountability Office would be allowed to audit?but his plan will
still require thorough review of all the Fed?s emergency lending, beginning
December 1, 2007.?
Call Senator Sanders? office at (202) 224-5141 and tell him how you feel
about this last-minute sell out.
Click here for contact information for your senators and urge them to oppose
the Sanders Sellout. Tell them to put back in the original Paul/Grayson
A vote could come even late tonight or early tomorrow. Let your senators
know where you stand right away.
The American people deserve a real audit.
The Wall Street Journal provides more details on the Sanders Sellout:
Last-minute maneuvering in the Senate allowed the Federal Reserve to side
step legislation that would have exposed its interest-rate decision-making to
Pressure from the Obama administration led Senate lawmakers to alter a
provision pushed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) that was gaining momentum
despite opposition from the Treasury and the Fed. It would have largely repealed
a 32-year-old law that shields Fed monetary policy from congressional auditors.
The compromise, endorsed by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher
Dodd (D., Conn.) and the Treasury, would require the Fed to disclose more
details about its lending during the financial crisis. It would also require a
one-time audit of those loans as well as a one-time review of Fed governance. A
formal vote was scheduled for later on Thursday.
Thursday?s Senate showdown came after senators on the left and right joined
forces to support Mr. Sanders? provision.
?At a time when our entire financial system almost collapsed, we cannot let
the Fed operate in secrecy any longer,? Mr. Sanders said. ?The American people
have a right to know.?
But Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, while insisting on his commitment to
?openness? at the Fed, said in a letter to Congress that the Sanders amendment
would ?seriously threaten monetary policy independence, increase inflation fears
and market interest rates, and damage economic stability and job creation.?
Here?s a copy of Bernie Sanders? amended amendment: [pdf]
Earlier this week Ben Bernanke had sent the following letter to Chris Dodd:
I am writing to express my deep concern about possible amendments to the
Senate financial regulatory reform bill (S. 3217) that would, for the first
time, permit the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to audit monetary policy
deliberations and operations. Such amendments, if enacted, would seriously
threaten monetary policy independence, increase inflation fears and market
interest rates, and damage economic stability and job creation.
The Congress and the American people have a right to know how the Federal
Reserve is carrying out its responsibilities and how we are using taxpayers?
resources. I strongly supported greater openness before I came to the Federal
Reserve and now, as Chairman, I believe in it even more so.
In fact, during my tenure, the Federal Reserve has increased its commitment
to transparency in a variety of ways, including the creation of a monthly report
that provides Congress and the public detailed information on the range of
programs and tools that the Federal Reserve has used to respond to the financial
crisis as well as our open market activities and lending to depository
institutions. Importantly, these monthly reports provide the number and
distribution of borrowers under each lending facility established under section
13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act; the value, type, and quality of the collateral
that secures advances under each facility; and trends in borrowing under the
Moreover, the financial statements of the Federal Reserve, including both
the Board of Governors and the Federal Reserve Banks, are already fully audited
by an independent accounting firm that ensures that the financial statements
completely and accurately report the financial condition of the Federal Reserve
System. These audited financial statements are made available to the public,
both in print and on our website, and are submitted annually to the Congress.
There appears to be a widespread misconception about the role the GAO
already plays in oversight of the Federal Reserve. The GAO has the authority to
audit and review all of the supervisory and regulatory functions of the Federal
Reserve. In addition, the GAO is authorized to conduct audits of the credit
extended by the Federal Reserve to specific companies under the authority
provided by section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act, including the loans to
American International Group, Bear Steams and the Maiden Lane entities. Indeed,
I have personally welcomed and encouraged the GAO to conduct a full and complete
audit of the Federal Reserve?s lending facilities for AIG and the Federal
Reserve has been cooperating with the GAO in its review of the two Maiden Lane
facilities related to AIG.
We believe that Congress and the American people should have the information
to be assured that all of the liquidity programs that the Federal Reserve
established under section 13(3) to respond to the financial crisis operate in a
financially sound way with taxpayer interests in mind. That is why I have
supported additional proposals, like that included in S. 3217, that would allow
the GAO to conduct audits of the operational integrity, internal controls, and
financial reporting of the broad-based liquidity facilities that were
established under section 13(3) to support the functioning of key financial
markets during the crisis. With adoption of this proposal, which we support, all
of the Federal Reserve?s actions to use the authority under section 13(3) to
respond to the current or any future financial crisis will be subject to audit
by the GAO.
However, thirty years ago, Congress purposefully ? and for good reason ?
excluded from the scope of potential GAO reviews some highly sensitive areas,
notably monetary policy deliberations and operations. In doing so, the Congress
carefully balanced the need for public accountability with the strong public
policy benefits that flow from maintaining an appropriate degree of independence
for the central bank in the making and execution of monetary policy.
Some in Congress have offered proposals that would remove these statutory
protections and, thus, subject monetary policy decisions to regular review by
Financial markets, in particular, likely would see a grant of review
authority to the GAO in these areas as a serious weakening of monetary policy
independence. GAO audits are very different from the type of financial audit
typically conducted by an independent accounting firm. Through its
investigations and audits, the GAO typically makes its own judgments about
policy actions and the manner in which they are implemented and makes
recommendations to the audited agency and to the Congress for policy changes or
future policy actions. Thus, reviews or the threat of reviews by the GAO of
monetary policy are likely to be seen as efforts to try to influence monetary
policy decisions. A perceived loss of monetary policy independence likely would
raise fears about future inflation, leading to higher long-term interest rates,
a diminished status of the dollar in global financial markets, and reduced
economic and financial stability.
The financial crisis has brought to Congress?s attention the need to address
a number of regulatory deficiencies and weaknesses to prepare against any future
crisis. We commend these efforts. In taking these actions, however, we should
not change what has worked well and to the benefit of taxpayers and the American
economy. Monetary policy independence from the political process has served our
nation well, and I would ask that you keep that foremost in mind as these issues
are discussed in the current Senate debate.
Thank you for your consideration.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volker also chimed in with this letter to
Chris Dodd and Richard Shelby:
Dear Chairman Dodd and Senator Shelby:
I am writing about an issue bearing upon the Federal Reserve?s independence
in conducting monetary policy that has long concerned me. I understand
legislation is now being considered by the Senate.
The desire of the Congress to review the auditing arrangements for the
Federal Reserve in the light of the extraordinary actions taken during the
financial crisis is understandable. The Congress and the public need to be
assured that such emergency action be taken with regard for professional
standards and protecting the taxpayer?s interest.
Decades ago, during my own tenure at the Federal Reserve, an agreed approach
toward GAO audits of the Federal Reserve carefully protected, as the relevant
Senate Committee report of the time indicated, the Fed?s ability to
?independently conduct the Nation?s monetary policy?. The point is that a threat
to expose the details of active debate within the Federal Reserve about monetary
policy decisions would tend to constraint that debate, expose the policy-making
process to greater political pressure, affect markets, and risk the release of
sensitive information about particular institutions and relationships with
Consequently, I encourage the Senate to consider measures as now proposed in
S.3217 that would provide the Congress with the information it needs to assess
the implementation of the Federal Reserve?s unusual lending activities. At the
same time it would preserve the confidentiality of the Federal Reserve in its
deliberative processes to the extent needed to conduct monetary policy
I am sending copies of this letter to Senators Cardin, Feinstein, Landrieu,
Levin, Merkeley and Murray.
1. Federal Reserve Quietly Lobbies Against Audit the Fed The Huffington Post
ran a detailed article this morning outlining the Fed?s deceptive tactics
2. Seeking More Sunshine From the Federal Reserve by Sen. Bernard Sanders
Regarding the Washington Post?s July 24 editorial ?Focus on the Fed?:...
3. Ron Paul: Full Transparency Is The Only Acceptable Option A vote could
come at any time, so please contact your senators with the following...
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