Auditing the Fed Coming To Pass?
I got a hold of some video of that infamous Barney Frank town hall meeting, where he asked the Larouchie holding the Obama-as-Hitler sign, "On what planet do you spend most of your time." Turns out that a not-nearly-as-crazy questioner asked Frank about HR 1207, the bill to audit the Federal Reserve, which has bailed out the banks for hundreds of billions of dollars under a virtual cover of secrecy. Frank said he supported the audit and promised to pass it by October. He also vowed to curtail the kind of lending power that allowed the Fed to float $80 billion dollars to AIG, and said that the Consumer Financial Protection Agency would curtail the Fed's power by taking the consumer protection elements of their mandate away from them.
There are now at least 282 co-sponsors to audit the Fed, on a bipartisan basis, mostly because people just want these world-historical interventions in the economy to come with some transparency. Frank, who talked about this effort to the Boston Globe the other day, appears sincere in meeting this goal. The economic powers in the Obama Administration really don't want any part of this, saying that "You want to keep politics out of monetary policy," but this isn't really about politics but about giving the public a sense of what they're paying for on a daily basis. The Federal Reserve just lost a lawsuit that will require more disclosure about the emergency deals they have cut. If Barney Frank and Ron Paul are getting together on this, I think the tide is turning.