WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Here’s a news flash for anyone who hasn’t been paying attention: Big banks have cozy relationships with top governmental officials.
That’s the conclusion of a new report from the Government Accountability Office on conflicts of interest at the Federal Reserve during the chaotic months in late 2008 when financial panic gripped Wall Street and the banks received trillions of dollars of emergency loans from the Fed as a life-saving transfusion. Read our coverage of the GAO report
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In one sense, the GAO report is no surprise. The Fed has been run as an exclusive club of, by and for bankers since its inception nearly 100 years ago. The world of high finance is a relatively small one: Not only does everyone know everyone else, they also know the name of their maid.
They grow up together, they go to school together, they intermarry, they entertain together, they make deals with each other, and so of course they’d get together when the world needs saving.
When Bear Stearns is about to go under over a spring weekend, who do you think Tim Geithner is going to call? An investment banker or a bus driver from Bushwick? Jamie Dimon or Ralph Kramden?
The financial crisis of 2008 opened a window into this secretive world, a window that can never be closed. Read the GAO report here.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Socialist who commissioned the GAO report, rightfully notes that the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks (which are actually owned by the banking industry) are also run by the bankers, even though they are supposed to serve the public good. The fact that Stephen Friedman of Goldman Sachs was chairman of the New York Fed’s board in 2008 was not unusual.
Congress has attempted to broaden the pool of candidates from which the banks choose their board of directors to include representatives of labor, consumer, agriculture and other groups. But banks and large corporations still dominate the boards, giving them an outsized influence at the Fed.
Of 108 current board members, 82 are either president or chairman of their company, the GAO found. In the past five years, about 5% of directors represented labor or consumer interests.
Does it matter? Perhaps. By law, the Fed is supposed to give equal weight to its two goals: Stable prices and maximum employment. But in practice, fighting inflation is Job #1, #2 and #3, just as you would expect from an institution that’s been captured by wealthy elites.
It’s no coincidence that at the last meeting of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee, three of the five members chosen by these regional Fed boards voted against taking further action to boost employment, while all five of the members chosen by the president and confirmed by the Senate voted to take the full-employment mandate seriously.
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/news-f … atest_news
That's about right Olyhooh! The deck has been stacked against the American people. But they are messing with the wrong people. The American people are tired of the double talk from both side and are demanding a strip and search!
Now see, we could have saved them countless manhours pondering that. The American people already knew about the cozy relationship. I wonder how that slipped the notice of the government?
"It’s no coincidence that at the last meeting of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee, three of the five members chosen by these regional Fed boards voted against taking further action to boost employment, while all five of the members chosen by the president and confirmed by the Senate voted to take the full-employment mandate seriously."
So, the Prez and Senate are for full-employment!
That's good to know. Now, we just have to get the House on board....if it doesn't screw up their destroy-Obama plans, that is
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