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View Full Version : Rand Paul: Itís Time To Audit The Fed




amartin315
08-21-2017, 03:36 PM
http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/21/its-time-to-audit-the-fed/

How many times have you been told that fighting for a cause you hold dear won’t make any difference in Washington? That politicians will do what they want, and we’ll just have to keep dealing with it?As someone who believes the Constitution matters, and liberty isn’t a whim the Founders acted on while they were bored one day, I’ve certainly heard more than my fair share of that familiar tune – even after I was elected to the U.S. Senate, which some also claimed could never happen!
But for those willing to keep an open mind on what’s possible, let me point to a bill called the Federal Reserve Transparency Act — more popularly known as “Audit the Fed.”
You can print (https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/s16/BILLS-115s16is.pdf) this legislation out on only four pages (which I think would be a much better standard on Capitol Hill than the library that is the tax code or other “major” legislation), but what’s contained in those few words has sent the establishment’s head spinning, since passing it would go down as a momentous victory for accountability and transparency.
Audit the Fed removes the restraints on how the nonpartisan, independent Government Accountability Office (GAO) can audit the Federal Reserve System, requiring the GAO to conduct an audit within one year of the bill’s passage and report back to Congress within 90 days of finishing it.

Do You Support Auditing The Federal Reserve?

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This would open up the Fed’s agreements with foreign governments and central banks, its discount window and open market operations, its member bank reserves, and its Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) directives to thorough examination by the people’s representatives — for the first time since its creation in 1913.
Considering that our nation’s central bank is one of the most powerful institutions in Washington, you could be forgiven for thinking the bill would forever be stalled. When my father reintroduced Audit the Fed in the U.S. House, that oft-repeated phrase reared its head again: “It’s a nice idea, but it won’t go anywhere.”
Grassroots Americans all across the country refused to listen, though, and they worked hard to make sure that if it wasn’t already on their legislators’ radars, it got there fast.
During my father’s final term in Congress in 2012, Audit the Fed passed the House by an astounding vote of 327-98. By 2014, its support further increased, leading to another successful House vote of 333-92.
On the Senate side, we missed reaching cloture by only seven votes in 2016.
The Fed has even been forced to lobby (http://thehill.com/policy/finance/233281-fed-fight-heats-up) to combat the pressure in what seems to be a clear conflict of interest.
Now, you’ll hear critics say that Audit the Fed is an attempt by politicians to “take over” monetary policy, but I’ve met those driving this movement and witnessed their passion firsthand.
They are students, moms and dads, and other concerned Americans who look down the road and wonder how much of our nation’s prosperity and opportunity will be swallowed up by debt or lost in financial crises fueled by artificial market signals and central planners’ economic tinkering.
We have given enormous power to a relatively small number at the Federal Reserve to directly impact and shape the costs millions of Americans will pay now and for years to come, and we have tied the hands of Congress’ investigative arm to hold them fully accountable.
The Fed can create new money out of thin air and spend it on whatever financial assets it wants, whenever it wants — giving that money to whichever banks it wants – while the GAO has previously observed (http://www.gao.gov/assets/100/98393.pdf) that, “We do not see how we can satisfactorily audit the Federal Reserve System without authority to examine the largest single category of financial transactions and assets that it has.”
In 2009, then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was able to refuse to tell Congress who received over two trillion in Fed loans, and it took congressional action (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/02/business/economy/02fed.html?mcubz=3) and a Bloomberg lawsuit to force the Fed to reveal the details (http://theweek.com/articles/479867/federal-reserves-breathtaking-77-trillion-bank-bailout) of what it did in more than 21,000 transactions involving trillions of dollars during the 2008 financial crisis. A one-time audit (http://www.gao.gov/assets/330/321506.pdf) of the Fed’s emergency lending mandated by Congress revealed even more about the extent to which the Fed put taxpayers on the hook.
In the coming weeks, Congress will turn to tax reform and the debt ceiling, areas where we must institute long-overdue reforms to give Americans back more of their own money and get spending under control by changing how government operates.
But with a Senate vote possible this fall to fill a vacancy on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, and the Fed claiming it will start acting “relatively soon” (http://www.businessinsider.com/fed-statement-balance-sheet-interest-rates-july-meeting-2017-7) to reduce its swollen, $4.5 trillion balance sheet, we will also have plenty of opportunities to speak out on monetary policy and call for an end to the Fed’s secrecy surrounding operations that prop up the powerful and well-connected at the expense of the rest of us.
We’ve been told over and over again it can’t be done, while defying those expectations each step of the way, and we now have a President who has indicated his support for Audit the Fed.
Let’s shock the establishment again by pushing it over the finish line.
Rand Paul serves as United States Senator from Kentucky.

Let me see if I understand "Audit the Fed." Currently, we know what assets the Fed owns. But what we don't know is how much the Fed paid for them, and who the Fed bought them from. Is that correct? Is that what this bill solves?

Also, any chance it passes this time?

TheTexan
08-21-2017, 03:44 PM
Why would we need to audit the Fed? It's not like the federal reserve system is designed to enrich the bankers or anything like that

Matt Collins
08-21-2017, 05:44 PM
Source?

Zippyjuan
08-21-2017, 07:35 PM
Let me see if I understand "Audit the Fed." Currently, we know what assets the Fed owns. But what we don't know is how much the Fed paid for them, and who the Fed bought them from. Is that correct? Is that what this bill solves?

Also, any chance it passes this time?

Fed assets are known and audited. The bill wants to audit their policy deliberations-not their financial books (the deliberations are released at a later date than the day they occur). The Fed buys and sells their securities via open market transactions from authorized dealers and are publicly announced.

https://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/money_12851.htm


The Federal Reserve Act specifies that the Federal Reserve may buy and sell Treasury securities only in the "open market." The Federal Reserve meets this statutory requirement by conducting its purchases and sales of securities chiefly through transactions with a group of major financial firms--so-called primary dealers--that have an established trading relationship with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY). These transactions are commonly referred to as open market operations and are the main tool through which the Federal Reserve adjusts its holdings of securities. Conducting transactions in the open market, rather than directly with the Treasury, supports the independence of the central bank in the conduct of monetary policy. Most of the Treasury securities that the Federal Reserve has purchased have been "old" securities that were issued by the Treasury some time ago. The prices for new Treasury securities are set by private market demand and supply conditions through Treasury auctions.


https://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/about_12784.htm


Does the Federal Reserve ever get audited?

Yes, the Board of Governors, the 12 Federal Reserve Banks, and the Federal Reserve System as a whole are all subject to several levels of audit and review:

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducts numerous reviews of Federal Reserve activities every year.

The Board's financial statements, and its compliance with laws and regulations affecting those statements, are audited annually by an outside auditor retained by the independent Office of Inspector General (OIG). The results of this independent audit are released to the Congress and the public.

The Board’s OIG conducts independent audits, evaluations, and criminal investigations relating to the programs and operations of the Board, as well as those Board functions delegated to the Reserve Banks. Completed OIG reports are publicly available as well as a dynamic Work Plan that lists all of the OIG’s ongoing and planned audit and evaluation work. In addition, completed and active GAO reviews and completed OIG audits, reviews, and assessments are listed in the Board’s Annual Report.

The financial statements of the Reserve Banks are also audited annually by an independent outside auditor.

Each week, the Federal Reserve publishes its balance sheet and charts of recent balance sheet trends; it also provides an interactive guide to the Fed's balance sheet. The balance sheet is included in the Federal Reserve's H.4.1 statistical release, "Factors Affecting Reserve Balances of Depository Institutions and Condition Statement of Federal Reserve Banks."

In addition, the Reserve Banks are subject to annual examination by the Board. The Board's financial statements and the combined financial statements for the Reserve Banks are published in the Board's Annual Report.

See the audit page on the Federal Reserve Board’s website for more information on all of the above audits as well as more information on the accounting, financial reporting, and internal controls of the Federal Reserve Board and Federal Reserve Banks.

Zippyjuan
08-21-2017, 07:45 PM
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/ben-bernanke/2016/01/11/audit-the-fed-is-not-about-auditing-the-fed/


You might think that legislation widely known as “Audit the Fed” would have something to do with auditing the Fed, in the conventional sense of reviewing the institution’s financial assets and liabilities, records, and operations. You’d be wrong. The Fed is already thoroughly audited in the usual sense, by an independent inspector general and by an outside accounting firm (currently, Deloitte and Touche), and the resulting financial reports are made public online. Every security owned by the Fed, up to the detail of the identifying CUSIP number, is also available online. Moreover, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which does in-depth reviews and analyses (“audits” of a different type) of government activities at the request of Congress, has wide latitude to review Fed operations, including supervision and regulation as well as other functions. For example, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, the GAO conducted reviews of the Fed’s emergency lending programs during the crisis and of the Fed’s governance structure. Since the financial crisis, the GAO has done some 70 reviews of aspects of Fed operations.

So what does Audit the Fed actually do? The principal effect of the bill would be to make meeting-by-meeting monetary policy decisions subject to Congressional review and, potentially, Congressional pressure. The bill would do this by repealing existing restrictions, imposed by Congress nearly forty years ago, on what the GAO can examine when reviewing the Fed. The most important such restriction blocks the GAO from reviewing “deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary policy matters,” as well as “discussion or communication among or between members of the Board and officers and employees” related to such deliberations. The repeal of the existing restrictions would accordingly allow the GAO to view all materials and transcripts related to a meeting of the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) at essentially any time and require the GAO, at Congressional request, to provide recommendations on monetary policy, including potentially on individual FOMC interest-rate decisions.

Effective Congressional oversight of the Fed is essential, of course, but it involves some complex tradeoffs. On the one hand, Congress has the ultimate responsibility of assuring itself and the public that monetary policy is being conducted reasonably and in the national interest. On the other hand, institutionally, Congress is not well-suited to make monetary policy decisions itself, because of the technical and time-sensitive nature of those decisions. Moreover, both historical experience and formal studies (for example, here, here, and here) have shown that monetary policy achieves better results when central bankers are allowed to focus on the longer-term interests of the economy, free of short-term political considerations.

Following international best practice, Congress has for many years effectively managed these tradeoffs by setting goals for monetary policy—specifically, that policy be set to foster “maximum employment” and “stable prices”—and holding the Fed accountable for reaching them. Consistent with the principle of accountability, the Fed is allowed to determine the settings of policy without political interference (this is what is meant by “central bank independence”). In turn, the Fed must regularly report and explain its decisions to Congress and the public, and in particular it must demonstrate that it is meeting its Congressional mandate. In practice, the Fed’s public communications about policy take many forms. For example, in speeches and other public appearances, Fed policymakers lay out in detail the considerations affecting current and future policy moves, including arguments on both sides of the issue. The Fed chair faces reporters in four press conferences each year and testifies before a variety of Congressional committees, including two rounds explicitly focused on monetary policy. Public Congressional testimonies are supplemented by dozens of meetings and calls each year between the chair and members of Congress, as well as frequent contacts between Fed and Congressional staff members. Detailed minutes of each FOMC meeting are released three weeks after the meeting is held, and verbatim transcripts after five years. (See here for the minutes from the December, 2015 meeting and here for the most recent released transcripts.) Fed policymakers also release each quarter their individual economic forecasts, including their forecasts of the future interest rate path needed to meet legislated objectives.

Matt Collins
08-21-2017, 08:50 PM
Actually the FOMC is not publicly known, M3 is not publicly known, and its foreign transactions are not publicly known.

Zippyjuan
08-21-2017, 09:15 PM
Actually the FOMC is not publicly known M3 is not publicly known, and its foreign transactions are not publicly known.


Actually the FOMC is not publicly known,

You can read the minutes of FOMC meetings here: https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/fomccalendars.htm They are released one month after the meeting. Audit the Fed wants them available immediately.


M3 is not publicly known

The Fed quit tracking M3 a while ago- in 2006. They said that as far as conducting fiscal policy, it did not give them any useful additional information for the additional costs of compiling the data. They use M2 as their money supply measure. What is the difference between M2 and M3? M3 takes M2 and adds large Certificate of Deposits (amounts per account of $250,000 or more), institutional money market accounts, Eurodollars (bank accounts overseas which are denominated in $US) and repurchase agreements. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money_supply Some websites attempt to calculate their own version of M3 like Shadowstats.

https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h6/discm3.htm


Discontinuance of M3

On March 23, 2006, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System will cease publication of the M3 monetary aggregate. The Board will also cease publishing the following components: large-denomination time deposits, repurchase agreements (RPs), and Eurodollars. The Board will continue to publish institutional money market mutual funds as a memorandum item in this release.

Measures of large-denomination time deposits will continue to be published by the Board in the Flow of Funds Accounts (Z.1 release) on a quarterly basis and in the H.8 release on a weekly basis (for commercial banks).

M3 does not appear to convey any additional information about economic activity that is not already embodied in M2 and has not played a role in the monetary policy process for many years. Consequently, the Board judged that the costs of collecting the underlying data and publishing M3 outweigh the benefits.


and its foreign transactions are not publicly known.

Information on Fed foreign transactions: https://www.newyorkfed.org/aboutthefed/fedpoint/fed47.html

Federal Reserve Foreign Liquidity Swaps chart: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/SWPT
(currently $36 million- million, not billion)
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/fredgraph.png?width=880&height=440&id=D6WACBS

What those are:


The FOMC has authorized temporary reciprocal currency arrangements (central bank liquidity swaps) with certain foreign central banks to help provide liquidity in U.S. dollars to overseas markets.

These swaps involve two transactions. First, when the foreign central bank draws on the swap line, it sells a specified amount of its currency to the Federal Reserve in exchange for dollars at the prevailing market exchange rate. The foreign currency that the Federal Reserve acquires is placed in an account for the Federal Reserve at the foreign central bank. This line in the statistical release reports the dollar value of the foreign currency held under these swaps.

Second, the dollars that the Federal Reserve provides are deposited in an account for the foreign central bank at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. At the same time as the draw on the swap line, the Federal Reserve and the foreign central bank enter into a binding agreement for a second transaction in which the foreign central bank is obligated to repurchase the foreign currency at a specified future date at the same exchange rate. At the conclusion of the second transaction, the foreign central bank pays a market-based rate of interest to the Federal Reserve. Central bank liquidity swaps are of various maturities, ranging from overnight to three months.

ChristianAnarchist
08-21-2017, 09:49 PM
Like father like son... The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

#StandWithRand

Matt Collins
08-22-2017, 02:39 AM
The Fed quit tracking M3 a while ago- in 2006. They said that as far as conducting fiscal policy, it did not give them any useful additional information for the additional costs of compiling the data. They use M2 as their money supply measure. What is the difference between M2 and M3? M3 takes M2 and adds large Certificate of Deposits (amounts per account of $250,000 or more), institutional money market accounts, Eurodollars (bank accounts overseas which are denominated in $US) and repurchase agreements. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money_supply Some websites attempt to calculate their own version of M3 like Shadowstats.

https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h6/discm3.htm
And if you believe that, then Al Gore has some carbon credits to sell you! LOL

amartin315
08-22-2017, 05:34 AM
Fed assets are known and audited. The bill wants to audit their policy deliberations-not their financial books (the deliberations are released at a later date than the day they occur). The Fed buys and sells their securities via open market transactions from authorized dealers and are publicly announced.

https://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/money_12851.htm




https://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/about_12784.htm

Can you point me toward a website detailing each asset, not only each asset, but where it came from/who it was bought from, and not only it's current "market value", but how much was paid for it at the time of purchase?

Chester Copperpot
08-22-2017, 06:48 AM
the federal reserve is a shady unamerican institution that needs to be destroyed.

amartin315
08-22-2017, 09:50 AM
also what's the deal with having so few cosponsors so far this year? seems like last time we had double the number of republicans, and now there's more republicans. smh

acptulsa
08-22-2017, 10:04 AM
also what's the deal with having so few cosponsors so far this year? seems like last time we had double the number of republicans, and now there's more republicans. smh

The useful thing about being in the minority is you can get behind things which are popular with the constituents who sent you to Washington, but not popular with the lobbyists and the press. When they fail, all you have to do is blame the majority party.

When your party is the majority party, and could actually get things done, you have to be more careful what you promise the real people. Lobbyists--and the corporations they represent--get a bit more sensitive about it then.

Listen carefully and you can hear the Democrats promising things they didn't dare promise over the last eight years.

Zippyjuan
08-22-2017, 12:23 PM
Can you point me toward a website detailing each asset, not only each asset, but where it came from/who it was bought from, and not only it's current "market value", but how much was paid for it at the time of purchase?

The information is found here: https://www.newyorkfed.org/markets/OMO_transaction_data.html

(I have not downloaded and gone though the data myself).

Matt Collins
08-22-2017, 08:39 PM
also what's the deal with having so few cosponsors so far this year? seems like last time we had double the number of republicans, and now there's more republicans. smh
It just hasn't been pushed yet. Once it is, there will be more co-sponsors.