View Full Version : U.S. Issues US House to debate Ron Paul’s ‘Audit the Fed’ bill

06-12-2009, 08:46 AM
US House to debate Ron Paul’s ‘Audit the Fed’ bill

Raw Story
June 11, 2009

After months of activism and lobbying by Congressman Ron Paul’s supporters, House Resolution 1207, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, will move out of committee to be debated by the full House of Representatives.

In a show of cross-party unity, Ohio Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich became the bill’s 218th co-sponsor, pushing it over the threshold for debate in Congress.

The bill, which achieved its 222nd co-sponsorship on Thursday, has been in consideration by the House Financial Services Committee since Feb. 26.

Congressman Kucinich, along with Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), announced Tuesday that the House Financial Services Committee will subpoena the Federal Reserve to ascertain the details of the Fed’s agreements with Bank of America in the institution’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch.

“The full committee and Domestic Policy Subcommittee, under the leadership of Chairman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), have been investigating the circumstances surrounding the federal government’s bailout of the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch transaction,” Kucinich’s office noted in a Tuesday release. “Specific documents subpoenaed include emails, notes of conversations and other documents.”

While the bill enjoys some Democratic supporters, the vast majority of H.R. 1207 co-sponsors are Republican.

“The tremendous grass-roots and bipartisan support in Congress for HR 1207 is an indicator of how mainstream America is fed up with Fed secrecy,” said Congressman Paul in a Thursday media advisory. “I look forward to this issue receiving greater public exposure.”

Though the move from committee to full House is sure to hearten supporters, the Senate also has pending before it a bill which would have originally given Congress greater oversight of the Federal Reserve. But in its present form, notes Huffington Post writer Ryan Grim, a recent, every-so-slight modification essentially ‘neutered’ the bill.

“Thanks to an overlooked document posted on the website of Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the top ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, voters can virtually watch the water being dumped into the brew that Grassley had hoped to force the Fed to drink,” he wrote.

“On page five of Grassley’s amendment, he intends to give the Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office power to audit “any action taken by the Board under…the third undesignated paragraph of section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act” — which would be almost everything that it has done on an emergency basis to address the financial crisis, encompassing its massive expansion of opaque buying and lending.”

Grim adds: “Handwritten into the margins, however, is the amendment that watered it down: ‘with respect to a single and specific partnership or corporation.’ With that qualification, the Senate severely limited the scope of the oversight.”

Congressman Paul, in defense of his proposal to audit the bank which controls America’s currency, argues not just for transparency. He wants to close it down.

“Detractors have [...] argued that the Fed must remain immune from the political process, and that that more congressional oversight would distort their very important decisions,” Paul wrote in an editorial titled, ‘Audit the Fed, Then End It!’ “On the contrary, the Federal Reserve is already heavily entrenched in the political process, as the Fed chairman is a political appointee. High-level officials routinely make the rounds between positions at the Fed, member banks, Treasury and back again, taking care of friends and each other along the way.”

He continued: “As far as the foolishness of placing complex monetary policy decisions in the hands of politicians – I couldn’t agree more. No politician or central banker, no matter how brilliant, is smart enough to know more than the market itself. The failure of central economic planning has been witnessed over and over. It is frankly beyond me why we ever agreed to try it again.

“To understand how unwise it is to have the Federal Reserve, one must first understand the magnitude of the privileges they have. They have been given the power to create money, by the trillions, and to give it to their friends, under any terms they wish, with little or no meaningful oversight or accountability. Thus the loudest arguments against greater transparency are likely to come from those friends, and understandably so.”







06-12-2009, 11:43 AM
Fantastic news! I wasn't even counting on this bill to survive committee. But now that it's going to the floor, I think this is just crazy enough to work :thumb:

06-12-2009, 12:15 PM
Fantastic news! I wasn't even counting on this bill to survive committee. But now that it's going to the floor, I think this is just crazy enough to work :thumb:

Agreed. But I fear they will find a way to shut this down. Bernanke said the only action he would stand against was external audits (or something to that effect) and he has many friends. But I am pulling for this one to pass.

06-12-2009, 01:42 PM
The DNC politburo will never allow this to happen.

06-12-2009, 02:37 PM
The DNC politburro will never allow this to happen.


I really hope that this passes. Paul is right in that the Fed has incredibly unchecked power within our nation and our economy.

06-12-2009, 02:45 PM

I'd love for the Fed to be abolished, but I don't think there's more than 2-3 people in the whole house that will have anything to say. Idiots.

Mr. Flopnuts
06-12-2009, 05:24 PM
Everyone swore Paul is batshit crazy. Shame you waited to listen to him.

06-12-2009, 06:15 PM
Everyone swore Paul is batshit crazy. Shame you waited to listen to him.

Let's smoke some crack for a second....

Had he been elected (which I would have really liked) what he was proposing would be stuck under Pelosi and Reid.

Now, tax hikes and things wouldn't happen, but DC would be pretty gridlocked right now.

Come to think of it, that sounds great!

06-12-2009, 09:50 PM
Whoever they appoint to handle the investigation has already been bought and paid for. They won't find shit, and even if they did, they'd be dead before full disclosure and the folder will be missing.

06-12-2009, 09:56 PM
Gridlock = good

Forces compromise, prevents things like the fecking bailout from passing so quickly.

06-12-2009, 10:43 PM
Whoever they appoint to handle the investigation has already been bought and paid for. They won't find shit, and even if they did, they'd be dead before full disclosure and the folder will be missing.

Still have to try, their ponzi scheme is about to fall anyways.

06-12-2009, 11:05 PM
Everyone swore Paul is batshit crazy. Shame you waited to listen to him.

In many ways he is... but I would install him in office if I had the power to choose between any of those who ran for it in 08.

I hoped this wouldn't be so bad, turns out it's worse than I expected.

06-12-2009, 11:22 PM
In many ways he is... but I would install him in office if I had the power to choose between any of those who ran for it in 08.

I hoped this wouldn't be so bad, turns out it's worse than I expected.

He's the only person that ran I'd want to deal with the current economy. It appears we've gotten the exact polar opposite, which is awesome. Before long our government website is going to be www.fail.gov (donate to Obama today!)

06-12-2009, 11:25 PM
He's the only person that ran I'd want to deal with the current economy. It appears we've gotten the exact polar opposite, which is awesome. Before long our government website is going to be www.fail.gov (donate to Obama today!)

i don't care for his isolationism but on the economy, yes. at least we would have recovery policy that was actually intended to promote recovery and not implement socialist ideas, and there would be something left of the america of 20 years ago when he was finished.

06-13-2009, 09:09 AM
Ron Paul: Audit the Fed Update

Saturday, June 12, 2009

Congressman Ron Paul gives the latest exciting news on his legislation to audit the Federal Reserve and explains the possible next steps for the bill.

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06-15-2009, 06:39 PM
Fed to Get Bigger Mandate to Supervise Financial System
AP | 15 Jun 2009 | 12:44 PM ET

The Obama administration says it is committed to overhauling the country's financial rule book by giving the Federal Reserve increased powers to guard against the types of risks that could bring down the entire system.

All large institutions whose failure could threaten the stability of the financial system will be subjected to regulation by the Fed, administration officials said.

The proposal also would create a council of regulators with broad coordination responsibility across the financial system.

The officials also said the administration will offer a stronger framework for investor protection, including increased oversight of consumer products ranging from credit cards to annuities.

Speaking in New York on Monday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the regulatory overhaul will eliminate "gaps" in the financial system that encouraged risky behavior leading up to the meltdown.

"We had a financial system that was fundamentally too unstable and fragile, and it did a bad job of basic protection of consumers and investors," Geithner said during an economic conference hosted by Time Warner.

"Those are things we have to change." The administration's regulatory proposals were included as part of an opinion piece by Geithner and Lawrence Summers, director of the president's National Economic Council, published Monday in The Washington Post.

The administration appears to have backed away from a more extensive overhaul that would have consolidated all banking regulation into one agency.

Supporters of this approach, including Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have argued that the current system is inefficient.

Slideshow: Worst Expected State Budget Gaps
"It does not make sense for up to four different regulatory bodies to retain oversight over the safety and soundness of banks and bank holding companies," Schumer said in a letter to Geithner on Friday.

"Retaining multiple regulatory entities preserves the regulatory arbitrage that allows institutions to pick the oversight scheme that benefits them the most, often at the expense of consumers and the health of the system overall." The White House said Monday that Obama would unveil his regulatory overhaul plan on Wednesday.

"Like all financial crises, the current crisis is a crisis of confidence and trust," Geithner and Summers wrote in The Washington Post.

"Reassuring the American people that our financial system will be better controlled is critical to our economic recovery." The two officials said the administration's overhaul will propose increasing capital and liquidity requirements for all financial institutions and will impose more stringent requirements on the largest and most interconnected firms.

Geithner said the administration would seek to ensure that tougher rules don't bog down the banking system with red tape.

"You want to have a system where innovation is rich and healthy, so we have to find a balance. We did not get the balance right," he said.

At his appearance in New York, Geithner declined to give specifics on the regulatory reform plan or say whether it will include eliminating certain agencies.

After Obama unveils the financial overhaul proposals on Wednesday, Geithner is scheduled to testify Thursday before both the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee.

The administration was still expected to call for the functions of the Office of Thrift Supervision to be merged into the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

But it would leave the Fed, the OCC and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as major banking regulators.

The administration's plan will impose "robust reporting requirements" on issuers of asset-backed securities and require institutions that sell them to retain a financial interest in their performance, Summers and Geithner wrote.

The sale of securities backed by subprime mortgages was among the major causes of the financial crisis that struck with force last fall.

"The basic objective is to have a system where people are less likely to be taken advantage of," Geithner said Monday, singling out the bad lending practices that helped trigger the meltdown.

The administration plan will give federal regulators greater powers to deal with any large financial holding company whose failure could disrupt the entire system.

The opinion piece said those increased powers mean the government no longer will be forced to choose between bailouts and a financial collapse that could rock the entire system.

Officials said they had no good choices when faced the potential failure last fall of insurance giant American International Group.

Summers and Geithner said the administration also will work to raise international standards for financial regulation.

"We don't want a situation where we have so many entities crawling over institutions and sending mixed signals," Geithner said.

"We should be able to design a system where there are limits on excessive risk and more clarity on the rules of the game."


06-16-2009, 07:26 PM
Federal Reserve To Be Given Sweeping New Powers

Bankers get what they lobbied for, media reports total lack of transparency as “regulation”

Steve Watson
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The privately owned and run Federal Reserve is to be handed sweeping new powers under Obama administration proposals in a deal that will please bankers who lobbied for more Fed “oversight” of their activities.

The new rules would see the Fed given the authority to “regulate” any company whose activity it believes could threaten the economy and the markets.

“The final plan due to be released on Wednesday — which originally aimed to streamline and consolidate banking and securities regulation in one or two agencies — now is expected to sidestep most jurisdictional disputes and simply impose across the board standards to be applied by all financial regulators, according to administration and industry sources, ” reports the Washington Times.

In other words, the Fed, which is already totally unaccountable to Congress, is to be placed in complete control of the entirety of the US financial system, to do as it wishes without repercussion.

As the LA Times reports, the government, in conjunction with the private Federal Reserve, would effectively have the clout to simply seize and take over any company it desires.

In order to appease those opposed to the plan, such as Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, the Obama administration has agreed to create a “watchdog” council of regulators to “advise the Fed”.

However, as former chairman Alan Greenspan has most recently pointed out, given that the Fed is an independent entity, accountable to no one, it will have the power to simply reject and overrule any advice it is offered.

(Article continues below)

The mainstream media, for the most part, has reported the oversight plan as a much needed regulatory crackdown on those responsible for the financial crisis. However, the details of the plan constitute almost exactly what lobbyists for leading bankers have been pushing for over the past few weeks.

“All derivatives contracts will be subject to regulation and all derivatives dealers subject to supervision,” Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said at a Time Warner Economic Summit in New York on Monday, also noting “When you have too many people involved, there’s an accountability problem.”

As we reported earlier this month, heads of nine of the biggest banks in the derivatives market, including JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Bank of America, secretly lobbied to keep derivatives under Federal Reserve “oversight” and away from real scrutiny.

As reported by The New York Times, they all met secretly to discuss how to use the lax regulation and institutional secrecy of the NY Fed to shield their credit-default swaps business from prying eyes and attempts at regulation.

The banks formed a lobby– the CDS Dealers Consortium– only weeks after accepting TARP funds in October 2008 to protect its interests. Heading this effort was Edward Rosen, who previously helped fend off derivatives regulation. Rosen wrote and circulated a “confidential memo” to the Treasury Department and leaders on Capital Hill, making their agenda clear, the Times reported.

Rosen and his backers propose that derivatives be “traded in privately managed clearinghouses, with less disclosure,” according to the Times. The clearinghouse of choice for the big banks in Rosen’s CDS Consortium is ICE U.S. Trust, which is in turned regulated only by the Federal Reserve system.

So the upshot of all this is that the bankers get what they want, are allowed to carry on as they were, while at the same time the fractional reserve banking system and the federal government are both greatly expanded and empowered, and the compliant corporate media ludicrously tells us that a strict crackdown is underway.

This kind of activity is exactly what some leading representatives have warned of in recent weeks.

A fortnight ago, the Democratic Chairman of the Agriculture Committee, Collin Peterson, announced to the press that “The banks run the place,” in reference to the US Congress.

While Peterson is also pushing for legislation to regulate derivatives trading, his proposed bill would limit derivatives trading to public exchanges, rather than private clearinghouses, which are managed by banks.

Peterson’s warning mirrors that of Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, who just a few weeks before uttered the same rarely acknowledged truth.

“And the banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place,” Durbin said.

How simultaneously dangerous and ridiculous it is that the Federal Reserve is given more authority to oversee the economy. This is the same privately run entity that refused to comply with congressional demands for transparency and disclose the destination of trillions dollars in bailout funds. It is the same privately owned entity that has withheld internal memos, in spite of freedom of information act requests. It is the same private entity, run for the most part by European banking elites, that has arrogantly refused to tell Senators and Congressmen which banks were in receipt of government loans.

The government is ready to hand over everything to a monolithic private corporation and a gaggle of bastard banker offspring, that have gobbled up an amount close to the entire GDP of the country in taxpayers’ money and figuratively stuck the middle finger up regarding questions over where that money has gone.

It can be no more apparent than at this time that legislation to audit, repeal and eventually end the Federal Reserve, must be supported by Americans if they want to see their children and their grandchildren grow up without indentured debt and entrenched servitude to a fascistic marriage of private banks and hugely inflated government.












06-16-2009, 11:02 PM
The Fed needs to be disolved. Instead we give it more power.

06-16-2009, 11:19 PM
The Fed needs to be disolved. Instead we give it more power.

Such a great system and a sweeping mandate from the people.

06-16-2009, 11:23 PM
Such a great system and a sweeping mandate from the people.

The Federal Reserve is a power this country never should have created.

06-16-2009, 11:29 PM
The Federal Reserve is a power this country never should have created.

Woodrow Wilson Quote

"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country.
A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit.
Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation,
therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men.
We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely
controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world.
No longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by
conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by
the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."

06-18-2009, 12:02 PM

June 18, 2009
Categories: Pelosi

Pelosi wants Fed's "Secrets of the Temple"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been broadly supportive of the Fed's recent moves to prop up the economy. But she said the public is now clamoring for far greater transparency -- and said Congressional leaders were "taken aback" by the Fed's huge bailout of AIG.

But she said she didn't have enough knowledge of a bill mandating first-ever audits of the opaque agency -- even though the measure has been widely reported and has the support of more that half the House, including 66 Democrats.

[Rush transcript]

"The American people want to know more of the 'Secrets of the Temple,'" she said referring to the classic William Greider book on the Fed. "Certainly we want to know more... Many of us were taken aback when the Fed said they had $80 billion to invest in AIG out of the blue... Oh, we have to have it, a balance has to be struck to run the Fed in a responsible way that's transparent...as the Fed assumes even more power."

On the other hand, she was critical of the Fed's sluggish response on other fronts, saying "I'm not certain the Fed could not have used more authority that it did in a more timely way."

By Glenn Thrush 11:06 AM