General Question

kevbo's avatar

What do you make of the unanimous US Senate vote for a one-time audit/disclosure of the Federal Reserve?

Asked by kevbo (25606points) May 11th, 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/12/business/12regulate.html

I can’t help but find it very curious that the Senate agreed unanimously to anything and that the two senators portrayed as spearheading the effort are a self described socialist and the most outspoken of libertarian Republicans.

Of course, the NYT saves the best quote for last:

“The new language of the Sanders amendment requires a one-time disclosure from the Fed,” Mr. Paul continued. “Basically, their sins of the past would be revealed and Americans would know more about who got bailed out by the Fed and under what terms. This would be good, but it’s not nearly enough.”

Speculations?

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33 Answers

janbb's avatar

It is amazing that the Senate at this point was able to agree unaminously about anything. That alone makes it an action worth supporting. Inquiring minds must really want to know!

Dr_Dredd's avatar

I didn’t think the Senate could agree on what day of the week it is. I agree that it’s not enough, but I doubt that the spirit of cooperation will hold for long enough to take other actions.

WestRiverrat's avatar

It is non binding. So it will look good to the voters at home, but won’t actually accomplish anything.

cockswain's avatar

I’m not aware of any scandals involving the Fed, but we’ll see what emerges.

Nullo's avatar

It’s not a bad idea, but I really don’t think that the Senators are doing this for The Peepul. More likely they’re expecting a lot of flak come reelection time, and they’re trying to make themselves look good.
Auditing the Fed is a popular demand among third-party/independent righties.

@cockswain You can’t know until you look. :D

cockswain's avatar

I should have said historically I’ve never heard of a scandal with the Fed. That doesn’t mean there has never been one, just not one of which I’m aware. Considering their function, it seems it would be difficult to prove their policies have ever been in the self-interest of the Board of Governors. I suppose money could be hidden or something.

Nullo's avatar

@cockswain It’s been said that where there is money, there is crime. Or was it the other way around?

cockswain's avatar

@Nullo Fair enough, can’t argue that.

janbb's avatar

Aw, c’mon guys – we’re talking about the government here. Don’t break my heart!

dpworkin's avatar

It is necessary but insufficient. As Ron Paul says, it is not a real audit, only a one-time disclosure. What is needed is an ongoing watchdog to ensure transparency, but the White House and most of the Senate would rather we not know. It makes it harder for them to accommodate their wealthy friends. It passed unanimously because no one dared face his constituency after voting against it, but it was deracinated for the protection of the guilty parties.

cockswain's avatar

What sorts of illegal activities do you picture the Fed could be involved in?

dpworkin's avatar

The Fed is almost certainly involved in unethical activities, just like every other department of government. The people overseeing offshore oil leases were doing drugs and having sex parties with oil company execs. You think the people at the Fed are up to no mischief when everything about the place is perfectly opaque? Give me a break.

cockswain's avatar

I don’t know what they are up to, I don’t have enough info. I’m interested b/c I just wrote a report about the structure of the Fed and read a biography about Paul Volcker. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there was corruption, but was curious how you envisioned it going down. I don’t think I heard about the sex parties, at least not with connections to the Fed.

Sorry for not already knowing all that. is that passive aggressive enough?

janbb's avatar

@cockswain It wasn’t the Fed with the sex and drug parties; I believe it was the Dpt. of the Interior. Right @dpworkin? It is scary the way there seems to be a revolving door between Wall Street and the Fed.

dpworkin's avatar

It was the Department of the Interior who got caught with sex and drugs, it was the SEC that got caught watching porn all day while Madoff, to whom they had been tipped off, continued to run a Ponzi scheme.

cockswain's avatar

So guilt by association? The Fed will turn out to be porno freaks too?

dpworkin's avatar

Guilt by association is not the same thing as reasonable inference. They came from Goldman Sachs, they are going to return to Goldman Sachs, they keep in touch with Goldman Sachs, and nobody can find out what they have done or will do. What’s your prediction?

cockswain's avatar

I’ve got nothing. I can’t argue the Goldman Sachs connection. But let me counter with where would one find a qualified economist to run the Fed or Treasury department if not in a giant firm like that? These are far from the first guys to hold high ranking positions like that with big bank ties. Not that it looks good.

Don’t confuse me for a big banking/Wall Street apologist b/c I’m considering other points of view.

CaptainHarley's avatar

God, I LOVE Ron Paul!

He’s a fellow Texan, you know. : D

janbb's avatar

I don’t like to be cynical so I would not assume corruption ipso facto. I would wait to see the results of the audit before jumping to conclusions although I agree it may not be thorough..

susanc's avatar

But the question was, why would all 100 contentious senators jump on this bandwagon? It feels wrong to me. Bent. Suspicious. Well, back to my mystery novel.

dpworkin's avatar

@susanc Because the public is still so angry about TARP that no one dared not to vote for an “audit”.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@susanc I think it is mainly because Robert Bennet was beaten in the primary. His seat was thought to be safe because he was a republican and the DC insiders thought the Tea Party people were only mad at democrats.

Turns out the Tea Party people are not the republican lap dogs the media portrays them as. And they are mad at ALL the incumbants not just Democrats.

janbb's avatar

@WestRiverratThat’s an interesting idea. So you think everyone wants to look tough and anti-government?

WestRiverrat's avatar

@janbb I think it is definately a factor.

Ron_C's avatar

Why isn’t this done annually? I can’t believe that it is not done.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Ron_C

Because powerful crooks are the worst sort.

Nullo's avatar

@Ron_C That’s a sentiment shared by the Tea, Constitution, and Ron Paul parties. Congrats! You are now a right-wing extremist in somebody’s books.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Nullo

Those people are not “right-wing extremists.”

Nullo's avatar

@CaptainHarley Of that I am well-aware. Others, however, are not so enlightened.
Frankly, I find the concept of the RWE to be somewhat laughable. Most Righties are conservatives, which means that they have stayed put, ideologically, and it’s the liberals who have moved away; these last, if anyone, are the extremists. According to the popular usage of “radical,” “radical conservative” is an oxymoron.

Working with the older uses, where “radical” means “of or pertaining to the root,” conservatism works better.

Ron_C's avatar

@Nullo wanting the nation’s money printer and bank makes me a right-wing extremist???

I think of myself as a sensible liberal because it is usually the right wingers that are running the bank.

Nullo's avatar

@Ron_C As I said, it depends on who’s keeping track. Janet Napoletano, for one, would doubtless be eager to lump you in with the Party-goers.

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