The Federal Reserve is responsible for implementing U.S. monetary policy. As it directs the world's largest economy, the Fed earns top rank among powerful institutions. Though the central bank guides state monetary policy, the Fed is largely a private institution. As such, bank operations move in secrecy, absent of oversight from the public arena. Thanks to Carmen Segarra, however, we now have some keen insight to the inner operations of the Federal Reserve System.
Segarra was recently employed at the New York Fed as a bank examiner, charged with ensuring the bank followed internal regulations and conducting "oversight" of the economic powerhouse. During her tenure, Segarra grew suspicious that the Fed was rather lenient with powerful, well-connected investment banks - notably Goldman Sachs (a key player in the 2008 financial crisis). To document her concerns, she recorded 46 hours of private meetings and conversations. Her recordings reveal the Fed is, in fact, rather cozy with the financial institutions it's supposed to regulate. With evidence in hand, Segarra voiced her objections. She was soon fired.
(Editor's note: This is a letter sent to U.S. Senate Banking Committee Chair Christopher Dodd by U.S. Representatives Ron Paul and Alan Grayson.)
Dear Chairman Dodd and members of the Banking Committee,
We are writing to ask you to postpone the confirmation of Ben Bernanke until the Federal Reserve releases documentation that will allow the public and the Senate to have a full understanding of the commitments that the Federal Reserve has made on our behalf. Without such an understanding, it is impossible to know whether Chairman Bernanke is fit to serve another term and fulfill the Federal Reserve's dual mandate to ensure price stability and full employment. A list of said documentation is enumerated below.
House Minority Leader Boehner joins bi-partisan coalition supporting Federal Reserve transparency
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA - H.R. 1207, The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009, yesterday surged past the 200 co-sponsor mark, nearing a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill, introduced by Congressman Ron Paul (R- TX), now has 207 cosponsors including 51 Democrats.
Signing on to the bill yesterday were Republican Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and influential Rules Committee Ranking Member David Drier (R-CA). The bill has gained 28 co-sponsors just in the month of June.
Congressman Paul's legislation is aimed at pulling back the curtain from a secretive and unaccountable Federal Reserve. Congress and the American people have minimal, if any, oversight over trillions of dollars that the Fed controls.
With recent bailouts and spending decisions shining a spotlight on the actions of the Federal Reserve, more and more pressure is bearing down on Congress to take action and demand accountability and transparency.
Minority Leader Boehner joins a group of legislators from across the ideological spectrum. These Representatives include Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), head of the conservative Republican Study Committee, and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), former head of the liberal Progressive Caucus.
"Americans from every walk of life, across the country, are speaking out and demanding transparency at the Federal Reserve," said Campaign for Liberty President John Tate. "Members of Congress, whether they are conservatives, moderates, progressives, business Republicans, libertarians or blue dog Democrats, are listening to their outraged constituents and coming together to support H.R. 1207."
"The American people have had enough. Enough of an out of control Fed, enough of run away government spending and enough of the secretive Federal Reserve practices that won't even allow us to know where our money is going." continued Mr. Tate. "And the message is getting through loud and clear as indicated by the overwhelming support for this legislation across the country and in the halls of Congress."
H.R. 1207, would open up the Fed's funding facilities, such as the Primary Dealer Credit Facility, Term Securities Lending Facility, and Term Asset-Backed Securities Lending Facility to Congressional oversight and an audit by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office. Additionally, audits could include discount window operations, open market operations, and agreements with foreign central banks, such as ongoing dollar swap operations with European central banks.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jesse Benton June 10, 2009 703-347-6886, 202-246-6363
When it comes to the latest hot topics of the day, one will not learn anything new by watching the talking heads on cable news or the networks. Fortunately, technology has come a long way, and all one has to do is browse the Web for perspectives and information that will most certainly raise the bar on the water-cooler dialogue at the office.
To that end, you will find ready-to-go video clips about the following stories that you won't find anywhere else:
April 15 Tea Parties
The Quad Cities hosted two Tea Party protests on the infamous Income Tax Day. More than 500 people attended the Davenport protest, and more than 300 people assembled that afternoon in Moline. The Reader was at both events and has posted a nine-minute video segment that includes interviews with seven people, including an 11-year-old.
The mainstream media picked up on the Tea Parties as a simple way to continue polarizing the masses along strict left/right and us/them party lines. No single outlet could help itself. As a guest on Keith Olbermann's show on MSNBC, Janeane Garofalo described the protest attendees as the "Klan demographic" and "tea-bagging racists who hate having a black man in office." To which Olbermann rhetorically asked, "What happens if at one of these things somebody hurts somebody?" And Fox Noise talk-show host Sean Hannity picked up the banner of the downtrodden tax payer and promoted the Tea Parties as if he had some solidarity with any disenfranchised citizens other than staunch neo-conservatives just like him. It was appalling. The really sad part is that many Americans fell for the "party baiting" hook, line, and sinker, and the only loser in that game was the level of discourse in America.
The bias in the media was no more apparent than when the reporter from CNN accosted a man holding a sign and his two-year-old child. The man's sign was about how his two-year-old was already in debt, and the reporter berated him, demanding whether he knew he was entitled to a check for $400 under the new regime. She wouldn't let him answer her questions, and things got worse from there when she finally claimed, "It is clear this crowd is anti-CNN and anti-government." The clip went viral for a short period, then CNN forced YouTube to take it off the air over copyright issues. Fortunately, FoundingBloggers.com was on-site in Chicago and filmed the dialogue that happened after the CNN cameras were off, and a suburban small-business owner takes the reporter to task, pointing out that CNN failed to show signs such as "Republican's Suck Too. End the Fed."
The reporter keeps trying to pigeonhole the woman as part of a group, and finally the woman explains that both the Democrats and Republicans are to blame for all our ills and that they "all need to go." Too bad that didn't make it to CNN's broadcast. You can watch the clip that CNN had YouTube pull and the off-camera fun below here.
In Minnesota, the blogger "The Grace Kelly" posted this account on the decidedly liberal Daily Kos Web site: "At a protest, normally, one sees the very hardcore support. However, what I saw was widespread disillusionment. In the video, notice how people are blaming politicians on both sides. Note that even though we now have President Obama, there is still acknowledgment that the problems started in the President Bush administration. So unlike other reports, talking to people at the Minnesota tax tea party gave me hope that these people value 'fiscal responsibility' and are actually open to persuasion." You can watch her insightful interviews about fair tax and the Federal Reserve at our Web site.
The SHA (Swine Human Avian) Flu Virus
The front page of the Wall Street Journal on Monday read, "The federal government is releasing 12.5 million courses of its emergency stockpile of potentially effective antiviral drugs to states that need them." Since when does anyone "need" something that is "potentially effective," especially when the risks of the drugs may be higher than the virus? To the WSJ's credit, they refrained from referring to this latest scare as "swine flu," but they did give us unique insight into what the future may hold for you at your airport. Pictured was "Scanning for feverish passengers at an airport in South Korea," showing bio-scans of passengers by their body-heat index. One can imagine the abuse and fear such a vetting process could engender. But don't take my word for it; listen to Dr. Ron Paul, an 11-term congressman from Texas and an MD. He and a Georgia congressmen, Larry McDonald (also an MD), were the only two "no" votes back in 1976 when the government ramped up a similar "swine flu" pandemic scare and mass-vaccinated thousands of people, including military, by force, resulting in 25 deaths and hundreds becoming sick ... from the cure no less. You can watch Paul question why Homeland Security is getting involved in medicine at our Web site.
As always, your feedback about what you read in these pages and online is encouraged. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over 500 people gathered from Noon to 2pm in downtown Davenport, IA as part of the nationwide protests against excessive government spending and what many perceive as threats to citizens' rights as guaranteed by the US Constitution. This video includes seven interviews with protest attendees including an 11 year old whose sign read, "Even an 11 year old knows Obama is wrong." When asked what Obama was wrong about, the young person replied that taking money from those that work and giving it to those that do not work.
One protester carrying a sign that read "Democrats are spending our grandchildren's future." He is asked what he would say to critics that point out the Republicans spend just as wildly when they were the majority. One protester claims that Obama is a puppet of the Bildeberg Group, Trilateral Commission and Council on Foreign Relations, and that Americans who voted for him have been "bamboozled."
February 4, 2009's cover story - The Future of Money?: With the Economy a Wreck, Alternative Currencies Could Gain Traction - explores local and national currency systems that have emerged as alternatives to Federal Reserve Notes - commonly known as U.S. dollar bills. It is my firm belief that the Federal Reserve system - with its fractional reserve lending, lack of accountability to the people (via Congress) and the market (via price fixing of interest rates) - is going lead to the total devaluation our currency and the destruction of our nation's economy. What will fill that vacuum, without these alternative currencies, is subject for another column.
[June 5, 2009: Since this was published the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 has been introduced by Congressman Ron Paul and co-sponsored by over 180 House members from both sides of the duopoly, Republicans and Democrats. Even if the bill passes the house it faces a royal battle from the Senate, who is even more so in the pockets of the banksters on Wall Street,with such senate luminaries in finance as Chris Dodd and Chuck Grassely.]
crushing lack of leadership, underscored by the absence of even a
rudimentary understanding of the factors that contributed to the
current economic crisis, begins to unfold in the wake of a
demoralizing vote by the U.S. legislature for a $700-billion bailout.
The House of Representatives originally voted it down, obviously
holding out for earmarks from the Senate. Incredibly, the Senate
obliged, attaching an additional $125 billion worth of such bribes to
ensure the House majority vote in favor of bailing out Wall Street,
and indefinitely indenturing future generations with impossible debt.