Thursday, December 9, 2010

Duh-oh! Most Americans dislike Fed, poll shows

Bloomberg News brings us the news that most Americans either want the Federal Reserve abolished or brought under tighter control by Congress.

The Fed last week revealed that it had loaned U.S. taxpayer dollars to 35 foreign banks as part of an emergency rescue plan to keep the global financial system from collapsing.   Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont Independent, is pressing for more information about the loans, which he calls "socialism for the rich."

According to the Burlington Free Press, Sanders investigating whether senior executives of large corporations and financial institutions who serve on the Fed’s regional board of directors used their influence to obtain emergency loans from the Fed...He is also seeking an explanation for financial assistance to foreign banks and automobile companies and for loans to more than 100 hedge funds, offshore funds and other investment funds in the Cayman Islands “and other notorious tax haven countries.”
Sanders thinks the Fed should have loaned money to small businesses and required bailed-out banks to charge less interest on credit cards and help people stay in their homes. 

The Bloomberg poll showed that 39 percent of those surveyed said the Fed should be held more accountable and 16 percent that it should be abolished. Only 37 percent favor the current setup.

Says Bloomberg, the poll
...underlines the extent to which the central bank’s standing has suffered as it has come under fire in Congress, first from Democrats for regulatory lapses before the financial crisis and then from Republicans for failing to revive an economy in which the jobless rate hovers near 10 percent. Voters from both parties have criticized the Fed’s $3.3 trillion in aid to the financial system.
In related news, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas said he will chair the House Monetary Policy Subcommittee.

Paul, along with Sanders, is a tough critic of the Fed.