• 340 days Will The ECB Continue To Hike Rates?
  • 341 days Forbes: Aramco Remains Largest Company In The Middle East
  • 342 days Caltech Scientists Succesfully Beam Back Solar Power From Space
  • 742 days Could Crypto Overtake Traditional Investment?
  • 747 days Americans Still Quitting Jobs At Record Pace
  • 749 days FinTech Startups Tapping VC Money for ‘Immigrant Banking’
  • 752 days Is The Dollar Too Strong?
  • 752 days Big Tech Disappoints Investors on Earnings Calls
  • 753 days Fear And Celebration On Twitter as Musk Takes The Reins
  • 755 days China Is Quietly Trying To Distance Itself From Russia
  • 755 days Tech and Internet Giants’ Earnings In Focus After Netflix’s Stinker
  • 759 days Crypto Investors Won Big In 2021
  • 759 days The ‘Metaverse’ Economy Could be Worth $13 Trillion By 2030
  • 760 days Food Prices Are Skyrocketing As Putin’s War Persists
  • 762 days Pentagon Resignations Illustrate Our ‘Commercial’ Defense Dilemma
  • 763 days US Banks Shrug off Nearly $15 Billion In Russian Write-Offs
  • 766 days Cannabis Stocks in Holding Pattern Despite Positive Momentum
  • 767 days Is Musk A Bastion Of Free Speech Or Will His Absolutist Stance Backfire?
  • 767 days Two ETFs That Could Hedge Against Extreme Market Volatility
  • 769 days Are NFTs About To Take Over Gaming?
Billionaires Are Pushing Art To New Limits

Billionaires Are Pushing Art To New Limits

Welcome to Art Basel: The…

The Problem With Modern Monetary Theory

The Problem With Modern Monetary Theory

Modern monetary theory has been…

  1. Home
  2. Markets
  3. Other

Anything Less Than Full Disclosure is Unacceptable

Last week a new bill was introduced in the Senate to audit the Federal Reserve. Some backers of my bill HR1207 and the existing Senate companion bill S.604 were a little miffed at this, but depending on how you think about it, this new legislation poses no great threat to our efforts.

With the economy in shambles, people are looking for answers - not just because of lost savings on Wall Street, but because of lost houses on Main Street. Because of the many problems we face, the Federal Reserve and its powers over the economy have come under scrutiny. This translates into a lot of political pressure on Congress. With all the House Republicans signed on as co-sponsors and over half of the Democrats, HR 1207 has enormous bipartisan support. It would be disingenuous for Washington not to embrace the principles behind this bill after all the promises for transparency. How can one credibly argue for more transparency in government in one breath and defend the secrecy of the Federal Reserve in the next?

However, there is still very powerful resistance to the disclosures that HR 1207 would require and efforts to weaken it will continue to pop up before this issue is settled.

The good news is that Washington is responding and the Federal Reserve has become the issue. Concerned Americans need to keep the pressure on by continuing to define what we want, and what we do not want.

One major concern is that HR 1207 constitutes some kind of power grab for Congress. Congress would not do a better job dictating interest rates or managing money supply growth than the Federal Reserve does for exactly the same reasons: Congress is not the free market. Any select group of people, no matter how wise and educated, simply cannot replace the wisdom of the market. HR 1207 does not seek to replace the wisdom of the Fed with the wisdom of Congress. That would be a giant step backwards. HR 1207 simply asks for full disclosure, and I am agreeable to allowing for a reasonable lag time to calm the fears that Congress intends to dictate monetary policy.

What we do want, what we insist upon, is that no longer will decisions that carry so much economic weight be made in absolute secrecy. We want to know what arrangements the Fed makes with other governments and central banks. We want to know who is benefitting from the actions of the Fed and what deals are being made. The Fed is already reacting to pressure by scaling back its liquidity facilities and returning to more traditional monetary policy through direct asset purchases. With nearly $800 billion in mortgage-backed securities on its books already, $800 billion in Treasury securities, and no real limit to what the Fed can acquire, there is a tremendous opportunity for malfeasance. We need to know who the Fed deals with, what they buy, how much they spend, and who benefits. As good as any step towards Federal Reserve transparency is, anything less than full disclosure at this point is unacceptable.

 

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment