HR1207 Passes committee against Barney Frank’s wishes

Posted on November 22nd, 2009 by bile
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

In an unprecedented defeat for the Federal Reserve, an amendment to audit the multi-trillion dollar institution was approved by the House Finance Committee with an overwhelming and bipartisan 43-26 vote on Thursday afternoon despite harried last-minute lobbying from top Fed officials and the surprise opposition of Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who had previously been a supporter.

The measure, cosponsored by Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), authorizes the Government Accountability Office to conduct a wide-ranging audit of the Fed’s opaque deals with foreign central banks and major U.S. financial institutions. The Fed has never had a real audit in its history and little is known of what it does with the trillions of dollars at its disposal.

“The Watt amendment will fully obliterate everything 1207″ — Paul’s measure — “is intended to do,” said Paul during Thursday’s debate.

For anyone remaining confused, the debate was further clarified by the central bank itself: Federal Reserve Vice Chair Don Cohn and General Counsel Scott Alvarez spent much of the day calling committee members, urging them to oppose the Paul-Grayson amendment in favor of Watt’s, a member of Congress who asked for confidentiality told HuffPost.

Paul’s opponents also placed a letter from former Fed chairmen Alan Greenspan and Paul Volcker on the seats of every committee member. Such a move is in violation of House rules and Grayson was able to have the letters removed.

As the day wore on and support held for the Paul-Grayson side, the Fed still could hope that both would pass. Watt’s amendment, which included additional restriction, would then trump Paul’s.

To counter that possibility, the Paul-Grayson side moved to fully replace Watt’s amendment with theirs, leaving only one amendment to vote on. The motion carried and the amendment passed in a landslide.

The GOP broadly backed the amendment, though Frank chided them for finding their love of Fed transparency only after they lost power, noting that Paul has been introducing some version of the measure since 1983.

Frank said he was opposing the Paul amendment because it could be perceived as influencing monetary policy, which can have inflationary pressure. “Perception is very important in monetary policy,” said Frank.

Great to see out of committee without Watt’s neutering. Too bad Frank either entirely ignorant of the fact that the market already knows that the monetary policy is influenced by Congress and government, too blind to see the immense harm the FED does therefore justifying such an action, or is just another shrill for the banking cartel.

CEI claims EPA suppressed internal study which contradicted administration policy

Posted on July 2nd, 2009 by bile
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http://cei.org/…

Washington, D.C., June 26, 2009 – The Competitive Enterprise Institute is today making public an internal study on climate science which was suppressed by the Environmental Protection Agency. Internal EPA email messages, released by CEI earlier in the week, indicate that the report was kept under wraps and its author silenced because of pressure to support the Administration’s agenda of regulating carbon dioxide.

The report finds that EPA, by adopting the United Nations’ 2007 “Fourth Assessment” report, is relying on outdated research and is ignoring major new developments. Those developments include a continued decline in global temperatures, a new consensus that future hurricanes will not be more frequent or intense, and new findings that water vapor will moderate, rather than exacerbate, temperature.

New data also indicate that ocean cycles are probably the most important single factor in explaining temperature fluctuations, though solar cycles may play a role as well, and that reliable satellite data undercut the likelihood of endangerment from greenhouse gases. All of this demonstrates EPA should independently analyze the science, rather than just adopt the conclusions of outside organizations.

The released report is a draft version, prepared under EPA’s unusually short internal review schedule, and thus may contain inaccuracies which were corrected in the final report.

“While we hoped that EPA would release the final report, we’re tired of waiting for this agency to become transparent, even though its Administrator has been talking transparency since she took office. So we are releasing a draft version of the report ourselves, today,” said CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman.

Obama administration continues with it’s secret transparency

Posted on June 16th, 2009 by bile
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31373407/ns/politics-white_house/

The Obama administration is fighting to block access to names of visitors to the White House, taking up the Bush administration argument that a president doesn’t have to reveal who comes calling to influence policy decisions.

Despite President Barack Obama’s pledge to introduce a new era of transparency to Washington, and despite two rulings by a federal judge that the records are public, the Secret Service has denied msnbc.com’s request for the names of all White House visitors from Jan. 20 to the present. It also denied a narrower request by the nonpartisan watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which sought logs of visits by executives of coal companies.

CREW says it will file a lawsuit Tuesday against the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Secret Service.

What he meant was that he’d be totally transparent about what he’s hiding from everyone. See… now everything makes sense.

The Obama administration is fighting to block access to names of visitors to the White House, taking up the Bush administration argument that a president doesn’t have to reveal who comes calling to influence policy decisions.

Despite President Barack Obama’s pledge to introduce a new era of transparency to Washington, and despite two rulings by a federal judge that the records are public, the Secret Service has denied msnbc.com’s request for the names of all White House visitors from Jan. 20 to the present. It also denied a narrower request by the nonpartisan watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which sought logs of visits by executives of coal companies.

CREW says it will file a lawsuit Tuesday against the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Secret Service.

The attacks on HR1207 are starting

Posted on May 13th, 2009 by bile
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http://www.forbes.com/

Extraordinary times require extraordinary actions. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the bold policy moves undertaken by the Federal Reserve over the past two years. The financial crisis forced the Fed to be aggressive and creative in its attempts to provide liquidity to credit markets that had frozen up. These were necessary steps, and mostly applauded.

But the very boldness of its actions has put the independence of the Fed at risk. Congress is now clamoring to audit the Fed, and some of the policy proposals currently under discussion at the Federal Reserve will only increase the threat to its independence.

Without independence, the political cycle would subject the central bank to political pressures that, in turn, would impart an inflationary bias to monetary policy.

On this view, politicians in a democratic society are short-sighted because they are driven by the need to win their next election. This is borne out by empirical evidence. A politically insulated central bank is more likely to be concerned with long-run objectives.A variant of the argument for central bank independence is that control of monetary policy is far too important to put in the hands of politicians. As a group, they have repeatedly demonstrated the lack of political will power to make difficult economic decisions. But now they want to assert control over the Fed. The bill, HR 1207, introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (who brought you the “Employ Americans First Act”) and Rep. Ron Paul, would assert greater control over the Fed. As Ron Paul writes on his Web site: “Auditing the Fed is only the first step towards exposing this antiquated insider-run creature to the powerful forces of free-market competition. Once there are viable alternatives to the monopolistic fiat dollar, the Federal Reserve will have to become honest and transparent if it wants to remain in business.”

Great! Obviously, monetary policy is so falling-off-a-log simple that your elected representatives can insert themselves via the demand for transparency into decisions of true complexity and subtlety. Why am I not feeling reassured?

I believe cy_cy says it all:

Quoth Cooley- “Without independence, the political cycle would subject the central bank to political pressures that, in turn, would impart an inflationary bias to monetary policy.”

Is this sentence for real? Perhaps you could summon a grad student to investigate the “inflationary bias” pre-Fed and post-Fed. (I realize you’re too busy.)

Since the Fed’s inception, the dollar has lost over 98% of its value. Before the Fed, the dollar would actually GAIN value as time passed (thanks to productivity gains.) Are you implying that the so-called “independent fed” should be patting itself on the back for (so far) preventing hyper inflation?

You clearly imply that Ron Paul wishes to bring transparency to monetary policy so that he himself can make macro monetary calls (manipulating interest rates, reserve rates, etc.) You imply that he is not qualified to be making these decisions. I am sure he would agree: his entire point is that no individual or small group can centrally determine interest rates.

The fact that you would so horribly misstate Paul’s monetary thesis suggests you either have not bothered to research his thesis (yet have the audacity to write an article about it anyway), or you do know what he is trying to say, but you grossly misconstrued his message so that you could shout it down. Either option is an overwhelming suggestion of both intellectual bankruptcy and, in light of your career choices as a writer and an educator, severe moral bankruptcy as well.

Tags: The Fed, HR 1207, Intellectual Cowardice

Ron Paul questions Ben Bernanke

Posted on May 5th, 2009 by bile
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