Ben Bernanke Under Attack?
I recommend Edmund Andrews' Under Attack, Fed Chief Studies Politics in its entirety just in case you missed it but let's get to the useful bits first, shall we?
No fight illustrates Mr. Bernanke’s political challenge better than the one over Mr. Paul’s bill to audit the Fed.
The maneuvering is still under way, involving intricate negotiations outside of public view. But, aided by the pledge of help from Mr. Frank and backing from the administration, Fed officials cautiously predict they will get what they want.
Mr. Paul’s bill would require the Government Accountability Office, an arm of the Congress, to complete a wide-ranging assessment of the Fed’s financial operations by the end of 2010. The audit would delve into bailouts of individual firms, short-term loans to banks, currency swaps with foreign central banks and the Fed’s effort to prop up mortgage lending by purchasing $1.25 trillion in mortgage-related securities.
Mr. Bernanke initially reacted to the bill in almost apocalyptic terms. The G.A.O. audits, he told a House hearing in late June, could lead to a Congressional “takeover” of monetary policy that would be “highly destructive to the stability of the financial system, the dollar and our national economic situation.”
That did not go over well with many lawmakers, who were competing to describe the Fed in dark and conspiratorial tones.
Can Jr Deputy Accountant throw her fur-trimmed hat in the ring for that competition? Damn.