Seeking More Sunshine From the Federal Reserve

by Sen. Bernard Sanders

Regarding the Washington Post’s July 24 editorial “Focus on the Fed“:

What a sad day for a newspaper with a storied reputation for exposing waste, fraud and abuse in government, to oppose the Federal Reserve Sunshine Act [S 604], legislation that would simply increase transparency at the Federal Reserve.

The Fed has expanded its balance sheet by more than $1 trillion in taxpayer dollars in response to the financial crisis. Who received this money? Is it being used primarily to help ordinary Americans or just the wealthy and well-connected? What conflicts of interest exist between members of the Fed and Wall Street bankers? This is all information that the American people deserve to know.

The Fed isn’t answering these questions. That is why an independent audit of the Fed is gaining such bipartisan support.

This legislation wouldn’t undermine the Fed’s independence, and it wouldn’t put Congress in charge of monetary policy. An audit is simply an examination of records or financial accounts to check their accuracy.

We must not equate “independence” with secrecy. No matter how intelligent or well-intentioned the Fed chairman and his staff may be, it isn’t appropriate to give a handful of people the power to lend an unlimited supply of money to anyone it wants without sufficient oversight.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The American people have a right to know what is being done with their hard-earned taxpayer dollars. This money does not belong to the Fed; it belongs to the American people.

U.S. Senator (I-Vt.)


  • longshotlouie

    Benny B. – Making it up as he goes along

  • james robinson

    If you were watching Doctor Paul at the debates remember as Mccain said, “we’d like more sunlight”. Still tickled over that comment.

  • Christine

    This is my favorite interrogation of Bernanke. He’s a bit shaken by the questioning from Alan Grayson. It’s time for the FED to squirm.

  • Michal

    That article on Washington Post is incredible! I believe it was written by Bernanke himself, or some of his nuthuggers. Those paragraphs about “wise chairman” and his thoughtful plans and his self-implied desire for transparency… Sounds more like an artcile on chairman Mao in Beijing Post.

  • VR

    During a discussion of the Obama birth certificate controversy, MSNBC host Chris Matthews and his guests implied that anyone who questions the official 9/11 story, thinks the Bilderberg group are exercising power to create a world government, people who are worried about gun control and immigration, or even people who are merely skeptical of government, are psychologically insane.

    Responding to Matthews’ implication that people who had questions about Obama’s birthplace were “full mooners” and insane, MSNBC political analyst Howard Fineman included “people who are worried about the government taking up the guns, people who deny the federal government has a right to tax your income, people who are worried about being overrun at the borders,” in the same category and said they were merely looking for a reason to find a conspiracy behind Obama.

    KenVogel then responded by including Ron Paul and supporters in the mix, noting that they embrace an “innate distrust of federal government,” again in the same context that to do so is a display of insanity.

  • Nate D

    Who’s the editor? lol. What is Bernake so afraid of. I hope his stress levels are through the roof, smug SOB.

  • Mike

    Wow, this is all deja vu! Read the first few pages of Murray Rothbard’s book, “The Case Against the Fed” copyright 1994. (The Mises Institute has a link to the PDF on their site if you Google that).

    Anyways, Texan Henry B. Gonzalez introduced a bill similar to this to Audit the Fed. Clinton vetoed that and declared that this reform would “run the risk of undermining market confidence in the Fed.”

    Obama dare not do the same to this one, or I hope there will be an even larger crowd on Capitol Hill than on his swearing into office. I’m not even a US Citizen, and I would love to come down and join your movement for exposing these crooks. After all, if you guys can set an example, other countries will take notice and begin asking questions and demanding answers of their Central Banks and Governments too.

    If you want to be a world leader, as a “beacon of freedom and liberty” as the press touts, then you need to free yourselves and expose the crooks.

  • Coacha Quintero

    Presently, the United States uses the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to create the financial statements for investors

    to base their investment decisions on. The International Accounting Standards Board wants to implement the International Financial Reporting Standards for 2013. When it

    does–IF it does, chaos will most likely ensue. They will further confound investors with a principles (rather than rules) based accounting system.

    Detractors of the principles/objectives based approach argue the absence of detailed rules opens the door to even more abuse. The Financial Accounting Standards Board is

    considering whether to move towards the objectives-oriented standard setting.

    The FASB’s Standard Setting Process:
    1. ID the problem: A measurement/reporting issue is identified by the Emerging Issues Task Force and placed on the FASB’s agenda.
    2. The Task Force: about 15 knowledgeable people appointed to advise the board on various matters.
    3. Research and analysis: FASB’s technical staff investigates the issue.
    4. Discussion Memorandum: The DM is prepared and disseminated to interested parties.
    5. Public response: Public hearings are held to discuss the issue and letters of response are sent to the FASB which then analyzes this feedback.
    6. Exposure draft (ED): It details the proposed treatment for the problem.
    7. Public response: Written responses to the ED are accepted and analyzed. The ED is revised, if necessary, depending on the board’s analysis.
    8. Statement issued: An SFAS is issued if four of the seven FASB members support the revised ED.

    It makes me wonder who is sitting on the Board and whose interests they have at heart.

    Still, 5. And 7. Involve public response. We should all get involved in THIS if they don’t want to audit the FED! They should be stopped before they put the last nail in America’s (and our) coffin!!!

  • damian

    Pretty funny to see comments disabled on the Washington Post article and of all the comments that are up nobody supports what is actually being written.

    • Herewe Goagain

      Can’t seem to get the comments loaded on the site anymore.

      Surely they can see, now, that the cat is out of the bag.

  • John

    WOW – I thought Sen.Sanders was a card-carrying communist. Maybe he’s not. Or, maybe he is and isn’t bought and paid for like the rest of DC ( Ron Paul excluded).

    • Lindsey Brutus

      Senator Sanders is the original sponsor of the bill in the Senate to audit the Fed. Just because he is a self- proclaimed socialist doesn’t mean that he can’t support transparency in government. I applaud him and other liberals like Sen. Feingold of Wisconsin for supporting this bill in search of transparency. It’s a shame Mr. Obama won’t jump on board. What is he afraid of?