Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., is upset that Congress is in the dark about much of the Federal Reserve’s activity.
He notes that he asked Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke what happened to $500 billion that the Fed extended in swaps to foreign countries, Grayson writes on the Naked Capitalism Web site.
Bernanke’s response: He didn’t know.
The $500 billion lent out should have been discussed by Congress, Grayson says.
“That is how democracy is supposed to work — not through secret deliberations” of 12 unelected bankers, the members of the Federal Reserve.
“That's the point. The Constitution grants to Congress power over the currency and power over the public purse strings for a reason, because we are accountable to ordinary citizens through the ballot box. The Federal Open Market Committee isn't.”
Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein points out that the financial crisis may have been solved better by Bernanke’s dictatorship than congressional involvement.
By design, the Fed is independent, its leader appointed by the President and not the Congress or voters.
Nevertheless, and despite evidence that Bernanke kept the global economy from imploding as the credit crisis struck, most Americans disapprove of his performance.
A Gallup poll conducted in mid-July found that only 30 percent rated the Fed as doing an "excellent/good" job, the lowest of nine government agencies, including the IRS.
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