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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/6/10

Audit the Fed

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The Federal reserve has taken unprecedented steps to bailout banks, spending, or at least guaranteeing, trillions of dollars to...well, to whom, exactly? We don't know. Because Bernanke has steadfastly refused even Congressional demands to open the Fed's books to reveal where the money went, or even if the recipients were American institutions. Perhaps they were European. Perhaps some were in Greece (a fat lot of good that did - have you seen the riots there?). I received this in an email from The Audit the Fed Coalition:

Real Reform Begins with Audit the Fed

May 5, 2010

Dear Supporter of Transparency,

It's essential that you urge your senator today to work for a standalone vote on S. 604 and, now that S. 3217 is on the Senate floor, strongly encourage them to support increased transparency at the Federal Reserve by voting in favor of the Fed Transparency Amendment, S. AMDT 3738.

This audit amendment is similar to S.604, the Federal Reserve Sunshine Act, which was offered as an amendment to last year's Budget Resolution. 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.

As you understand, any true financial reform effort will start with requiring accountability from our nation's central bank. 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.

Contact your senators today and tell them to:

- Support a standalone vote on S. 604
- Oppose the overall Dodd bill because it guarantees Fed secrecy
- Support the Sanders amendment when the vote comes

Thank you for all your work in bringing about a legitimate audit of the Federal Reserve.


The Audit the Fed Coalition
Also, many of our Senators and Congresspersons are on board. Read Kirsten Gillibrand's (D-NY) thoughts:

Dear Mr. Baker,

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about increasing transparency at the Federal Reserve. Throughout the financial crisis of last fall and the ongoing economic slowdown, the Federal Reserve has lent substantial sums of money to help prevent a further economic meltdown using emergency powers established by Congress after the Great Depression. Throughout my time in Congress, I have worked to promote honest and open government. Last fall, I opposed the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) because of its lack of transparency and oversight provisions. As a result, I share your belief that the extraordinary actions taken by the Federal Reserve merit additional scrutiny from Congress and will work to enhance transparency and oversight as part of the financial regulatory reform package currently being drafted.

Currently, the only component of the Federal Reserve which is not regularly investigated by the Government Accountability Office is its monetary policy function. This exemption was established to address concerns that Congress could use these investigations to pressure the Federal Reserve into taking actions that could drive inflation, causing dramatic increases in the costs of basic goods and services and undermining the Fed's primary objective of monetary stability.

I believe it is critically important that we continue to empower the Federal Reserve to prevent inflation while at the same time providing for a full audit of the Federal Reserve system. As Congress begins to examine how to restructure our financial system, I believe that we must include reforms to provide greater transparency at the Federal Reserve while continuing to prevent inflation and ensure economic stability. I will be working with my colleagues on the Senate Banking Committee to ensure that any financial reform package includes these key principles.

Thank you again for writing to express your concerns and I hope that you keep in touch with my office regarding future legislation and concerns you may have. For more information on this and other important issues, please visit my website at and sign up for my e-newsletter.

Sincerely yours,

Kirsten Gillibrand
United States Senator

It's interesting to note she voted against TARP, even though New York has a disproportionate number of banks that benefited.

Personally, I would like to see the Federal Reserve subsumed into a department of the Treasury, and money-making returned to Congress instead of a private banking cartel misleadingly called the Federal Reserve, but until that happy day comes, we should at least know where our tax dollars, and our future repayments in debt service, will go.
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Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a former blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:

Scott is a former and current President of Common Ground-NY (, a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens of (more...)

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