Federal Reserve Quietly Lobbies Against Audit the Fed

The Huffington Post ran a detailed article this morning outlining the Fed’s deceptive tactics against transparency:

The effort to beat back the audit relies on playing two members of the same caucus — Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) — off each other.

In order to obtain the documents, HuffPost agreed not to reveal the name of the Federal Reserve official who did the specific lobbying in question. Fed officials, including Chairman Ben Bernanke, have made public statements against requiring disclosure and members of the Senate and their aides have talked about Fed lobbying in general, but the documents reveal a very specific hand-to-hand style of combat being engaged in as the vote on the amendment draws near.

With a vote possible on Tuesday, a Fed official e-mailed three documents to a Senate staffer. “I am sending some information on the effects of audits of the Federal Reserve System as well as two additional documents – one summarizes the GAO and related provisions in the Dodd Bill as passed by the committee (Title XI, Sections 1151-1153) and the other is a summary of the Sanders and Paul/Grayson amendments,” the official said in an e-mail.

“As I mentioned, we believe that the bipartisan Corker-Merkley provision in the Dodd Bill is quite strong and addresses issues of transparency and disclosure without impinging on the independence of monetary policy,” the official goes on. More…

We’ve all seen the Corker-Merkley provision in the House Financial Services Committee in October 2009 when Mel Watt introduced his “placebo” amendment to neutralize Ron Paul’s and Alan Grayson’s Audit the Fed amendment. That time around, the big bankers were no match for the public outrage directed towards the Federal Reserve. On November 19, 2009, after several hours of heated debate, the Watt amendment was soundly defeated in committee, and Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed amendment later passed in the House.

Now, the fight for transparency has moved to the Senate, and it doesn’t look good. The Campaign for Liberty sent out the following letter to other organizations in support of Bernie Sanders’ Audit the Fed amendment:

Dear Senator,

Although we oppose S. 3217, the financial regulatory reform legislation currently being considered on the Senate floor, we urge you to vote for Sens. Sanders, Feingold, DeMint, and Vitter’s Federal Reserve Transparency Amendment.

This amendment is similar to S.604, the Federal Reserve Sunshine Act, which was offered as an amendment to last year’s Budget Resolution. S. 604 has 33 bipartisan cosponsors. The Federal Reserve Transparency Act (H.R. 1207), the House companion bill, has 320 bipartisan cosponsors. A slightly modified version of H.R. 1207 passed the House Financial Services Committee by a vote of 43-28 and was incorporated into the financial reform bill passed by the House.

This amendment does not take away the “independence” of the Fed. It simply requires the GAO to conduct an independent audit of the Fed and requires the Fed to release the names of the recipients of more than $2 trillion in taxpayer-backed assistance during this latest economic crisis.

S. 3217 unacceptably increases the Fed’s powers at a time when the American people are demanding answers as to what the Federal Reserve has been doing with the powers it currently possesses. It also strips out the strong audit language contained in the House’s reform bill in favor of a watered-down approach that allows the Fed to continue operating in secret. Any true financial reform effort will start with requiring accountability from our nation’s central bank.

Therefore, we urge you to work for a standalone vote on S. 604 and, if S. 3217 is brought up for a vote, strongly encourage you to support increased transparency at the Federal Reserve by voting in favor of the Fed Transparency Amendment.

Other groups who have signed on include Americans for Tax Reform, DownsizeDC.org, FreedomWorks, and the Center for Fiscal Accountability.

A vote could come at any time, so please contact your senators with the following three points:

  1. Support a standalone vote on S. 604
  2. Oppose the overall Dodd bill
  3. Support the Sanders amendment when the vote comes


  • Charlie, Your post was PRICELESS! When are the large majority going to awaken ?–
    we are a SLEEPING GIANT for sure. We NEED to GET TOGETtHER — Campaign for Liberty, Reform Party (Ross Perot who told you what was going to happen 18 years
    ago. 20% of the voters said YES but too many were afraid to “lose their vote” — see
    what propaganda does?), Constitution Party, Libertarian Party, Green Party (I’ve talked to some of their candidates — they don’t breathe fire!), Tea Party (not an organized party BUT their heart is certainly in the right place!) Maybe you don’t agree
    with SOME of each groups positions BUT that is what a representative republic is all about! Notice I didn’t say democracy. We are NOT ; we work together; we can respect, compromise, be REAL SERVANTS OF THE PEOPLE that we elected them to be.

  • Libertarian777

    seems Dr Paul was right again.

    Remember when he asked Bernake if they were funding or planning to fund Greece’s bailout or similar, and Bernake replied that they were not going to and had no plans to?

    $147 billion loan to Greece from the IMF

    The US provided $108 billion in funds to the IMF in 2009.

    Wonder how much we’ll be providing to them this year?

  • Grant

    This is nice, but I wouldn’t think the huffington post would be a good source of information. Way below Dr. Paul’s standards.

  • – Bank of America – Chase – Wells Fargo – CitiCorp – and two other big banks now control 65% of American GDP. The damages caused by financial products, created and sold by the big banks is greater than the damage from the failed oil platform. All had awareness their products could fail. Some profited by investing with hedge funds,… All seek to avoid as much responsibility as they can get away with. To assist with the con game, big press and big government do dog and pony shows, like Goldman was naughty… designed to lead citizens away from the real issues. Big banks produced faulty financial products… their penalty? They became the largest monopolies in American history. Today, six big banks control 65% of American GDP… This isn’t rocket science. We have been robbed.

    Wake Up Press… The Tea Party is too late. The end game has always been for banking families to own America and for their employees to run it. Check my facts and weep. America needs reporters to work on these big stories.

    Oh… Audit the Federal Reserve Bank? There’s an idea. Is Ron Paul the only politician not owned or employed by a big bank family member?

    • Charlie

      I knew it would happen. Fred has become his alter ego MikeJaggerLive.

      Don’t feed either of him.

    • Joan

      I have student loans with CitiBank. I called them up one time and their employees are in India. How nice. I remember Wells Fargo emptying their buildings out, laying off so many people and moving their accounting and customer service jobs overseas. The guy in India told me India and China are so very well now, yes, yes they are, they got what 200 million jobs we used to have? Then, the guy tells me I better get a second job to pay CitiBank $400 a month, no one will bail me out when I’m indigent, and I told the guy, there are no jobs where I live, there is no job market. Yeah, thanks to Wall Street and the banks making unemployment this bad. I also get to pay Chase $200 a month just in interest, on credit cards, no bailouts for me, while I hear people got multi-million dollar bonuses for bankrupting companies. They get rich of off dirt poor people like myself. Enough of all of it is enough.

      • No Brakes

        Yes Joan, and your Socialist Security number is in India too. CYA…

      • Tim

        When IBM laid off their skilled employees they offered them to instead move to the new ops in India.

        I still don’t understand why there were no office rampage incidents reported at IBM; they must own the media.

        • fred the protectionist

          Tax the rich; if the American rich employ foreigners then it won’t trickle down to the American working class. 🙂

          Ahh, got to love supply side economics. I never said I disagreed with supply side economics, and other neocon/Libertarian economic theory.

  • Charlie

    Only people over the age of 80 can remember Federal Reserve notes (in circulation) redeemable in gold or silver. Most Americans have never known anything except fiat currency. Our only allowed currency (the dollar) isn’t backed by gold or silver anymore but if backed by some tradeable commodity to give it value….our country would prosper again. When the people of this country allow our servants(politicians) to be our masters we are doomed to be pawns. Be informed, look at more than the smile of candidates and vote out the scoundrels.

    Oh yes, and ignore Freds taunts as hard as it may be. He will go away.

    • Forest

      What the hell kind of logic is that?

      Only people over the age of 80 can remember infant mortality rates of 16% or not having a refrigerator to keep their food stored.

      Oh that’s right, we aren’t ‘prosperous’ now, we were only prosperous in the days of buggy whips, horrific medicene and short life expectancy rates.


  • Citizen

    We can only hope that they will do the Right Thing…
    But why would they… they are wolves guarding the sheep, they like the mutton and we are it!

    The FED is the single greatest threat to our National Survival…

    Once we End the Fed,
    We can have fun with the Fred

  • Charlie

    The US had some bad recessions before the Federal Reserve. Then, about 20 years after the Fed took over to control things the Great Depression started with regular recessions to follow. Today we’re in another deep recession the Fed didn’t prevent. The Fed has one purpose and that is to create boom and bust cycles that rob citizens of their wealth. Quietly lobbying? No, the Fed has been winding it’s tenacles into our government for years. What prevents the Fed from setting up secret foreign accounts for whomever? AN AUDIT! Any politician against a complete audit of the Fed, I have to assume is on the take or too stupid to hold office. Send ’em down the road kickin’ a can regardless of party.

    And do not feed FRED!

    • fred the protectionist

      The FED didn’t see the recession because, like all other bankers, they are open-border/free-traders. They thought the 2000’s was going to be an economic paradise from exploiting cheap foreign labor. Bernanke is a free trader, like most bankers, money changers, and other assorted financial industries; and this recession wasn’t suppose to happen.

  • I hope that the Dodd bill fails to pass the senate, it is a toxic bill that will enable the fed and the banks more to become more dependent on the government and the taxpayers.