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Federal Reserve

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The Treasury announced Thursday a record $104 billion worth of bond auctions for next week, part of its herculean efforts to finance a rescue of the world's largest economy.

The sales will exceed the previous record of $101 billion set in auctions that took place in the last week of April and consist of two-year, five-year and seven-year securities. That record was matched by another $101 billion week in May.

Though next week's total was broadly in line with expectations, worries about supply have weighed on the U.S. government bond market, which will see a mammoth $2 trillion worth of new debt issued this year.

"Maybe the Treasury market reacted a little negatively and it will continue to be like this," said Suvrat Prakash, U.S. interest rate strategist with BNP Paribas in New York. "Supply

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The effort to increase the transparency of the Federal Reserve's operations has picked up surprising momentum over the last month, and has now surged past the 218 votes needed for passage in the House of Representatives.

The bill boasts 222 cosponsors, with more and more rank-and-file members of Congress steadily signing on to a bill introduced in February by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) to expand the authority of the Government Accountability Office to audit the Fed.

On Tuesday, Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, the Republican Leader, signed on. On Thursday, Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, one of the chamber's most conservative members, joined Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, perhaps the Senate's most liberal member, in cosponsoring a companion bill.

More than 50 Democrats have joined more than 150 Republicans so far to back HR 1207. A similar bill sponsored by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) also has momentum and is on pace for a congression

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Aimed at preventing a repeat of the worst economic crisis in seven decades, the changes would begin to reverse a determined campaign pressed in the 1980s by President Ronald Reagan to cut back on federal regulations.

Obama's plan, spelled out in an 88-page white paper, would do little to streamline the alphabet soup of agencies that oversee the financial sector. But it calls for fundamental shifts in authority that would eliminate one regulatory agency, create another and both enhance and undercut the authority of the powerful Federal Reserve.

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Washington Post

Geithner asked the lobbyists what they were up to. When they explained they preferred that a council of regulators, rather than the central bank, safeguard the financial markets, Geithner silenced them with a string of obscenities: "I don't believe in rule by committee," he said.  

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NY Times

Since March, when the Fed stepped in to fill the lending vacuum left by banks and Wall Street firms, officials have been dragged into murky battles over the creditworthiness of narrow-bore industries like motor homes, rental cars, snowmobiles, recreational boats and farm equipment — far removed from the central bank’s expertise.

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After months of activism and lobbying by Congressman Ron Paul’s supporters, House Resolution 1207, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, will move out of committee to be debated by the full House of Representatives.

In a show of cross-party unity, Ohio Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich became the bill’s 218th co-sponsor, pushing it over the threshold for debate in Congress.


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MELBOURNE, Florida — In a sparsely decorated office suite two floors above a neighborhood of strip malls and car dealerships, former oncologist Douglas Jackson is struggling to resuscitate a dying dream. Jackson, 51, is the maverick founder of E-Gold, the first-of-its-kind digital currency that was once used by millions of people in more than a hundred countries. Today the currency is barely alive. Stacks of cardboard evidence boxes in the office, marked “U.S. Secret Service,” help explain why, as does the pager-sized black box strapped to Jackson’s ankle: a tracking device that tells his probation officer whenever he leaves or enters his home. “It’s supposed to be jail,” he says. “Only it’s self-administered.”