By far the most secret and least accountable operation of the federal government is not, as one might expect, the CIA, DIA, or some other super-secret intelligence agency. The CIA and other intelligence operations are under control of the Congress. They are accountable: a Congressional committee supervises these operations, controls their budgets, and is informed of their covert activities. It is true that the committee hearings and activities are closed to the public; but at least the people’s representatives in Congress insure some accountability for these secret agencies.
It is little known, however, that there is a federal agency that tops the others in secrecy by a country mile. The Federal Reserve System is accountable to no one; it has no budget; it is subject to no audit; and no Congressional committee knows of, or can truly supervise, its operations. The Federal Reserve, virtually in total control of the nation’s vital monetary system, is accountable to nobody – and this strange situation, if acknowledged at all, is invariably trumpeted as a virtue. – Murray Rothbard from (the original) Case Against the Federal Reserve
Of course just auditing the Fed isn’t enough. Such an audit, if by some miracle it were to happen, will be gamed at every stage. The quality of the information will likely be poor and at least initially not particularly illuminating. But an audit is the first step in reining in the bank, which is why the Fed fights an audit as it does.
(From The Daily Beast)
In announcing the results of the successful House vote to finally take a look at the inner workings of the Fed, Rep. Paul Broun, the Republican sponsor of the bill,said that it’s passage had brought “us one step closer towards bringing much-needed transparency to our nation’s monetary policy.”
Yeah, not so much. Despite such a lopsided vote in the House, the measure will die in the Senate. It wasn’t voted on before the pre-election recess, and Majority Leader Harry Reid will refuse to bring the matter up for a vote before the current congressional term expires in January. Irony alert: Reid himself co-sponsored bills in the ’90s calling for Fed audits.
Reid hasn’t explained exactly why he won’t allow a vote on the bill, which has 30 co-sponsors. He’s keeping his reasons secret, which means that the Fed’s secrets are safe for at least a little while longer.
There is an important question we need to confront with regard to a Fed audit too. (Perhaps the most important.) When we get a glimpse of what the Fed has been pulling, and assuming we do actually see all sorts of slight of hand, debasement, Wall Street collusion, etc., what are we going to do about it? Seriously, who will step up and take on the beast then? How will they do it? Or will people just capitulate to their “masters” only this time knowing full well what’s going on?