Last week the 112th Congress was sworn in. I am pleased that I will be chairing the Monetary Policy Subcommittee of the Financial Services Committee, which has oversight of the Federal Reserve. Obviously, this position will facilitate my efforts to ensure the Fed provides the American people with more information about what they have been doing with and to our money. Not surprisingly, since my chairmanship was announced, apologists for the Fed have been recycling the old canard about how increased transparency threatens the Fed's so-called political independence.
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By independence, they are referring to the Fed's ability to greatly impact the economy with virtually no meaningful oversight. We only recently learned that the bankers at the Fed were able to use the latest financial crisis to bail out Wall Street cronies and foreign central banks with billions of dollars that were created and wasted, instead of appropriated and voted on by representatives of the people. The Fed and its supporters in Congress vehemently fought even this small bit of transparency and without this one-time provision in the financial reform act forcing disclosure, we would still not have this information. Indeed, we are in the dark on so much of what the Fed has done. This is extremely dangerous for our country, yet this power and secrecy is defended as some kind of public good, which is patently ridiculous.
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