Economy & Budget

‘Audit the Fed’ is back

'Audit the Fed' is back

Well, the spirit of Ron Paul isn’t going anywhere.

This week, Representative Paul Broun of Georgia introduced an “Audit the Fed” bill that is identical to Ron Paul’s bill, H.R. 459, which passed the House last year 327-98. The original bill, which carried 319 cosponsors and enjoyed widespread public support according to polls, was killed in the Senate. There’s little reason to believe that it will avoid a similar fate this session.

Broun’s Paul bill would require a full audit by the U.S. Comptroller General of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and the Federal Reserve banks. Critics have long argued that such a measure would politicize the Fed — which would be great news for Americans.

From Broun:

“I first want to thank Congressman Ron Paul for his tireless and unwavering dedication to auditing the Federal Reserve. His efforts paid off when the House passed his legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support during the 112th Congress. This accomplishment in itself marked the most significant stride made toward bringing real transparency to the nation’s monetary policy. Unfortunately, as has become the status quo, the do-nothing Senate failed to act on the bill before the end of the 112th Congress, causing it to flat line.”

Also: According to minutes of the last Federal Reserve’s policy meeting in December, released Thursday, there is a growing divide within the board about the $2.9 trillion balance sheet and the long-term consequences of its open-ended “stimulus.” Word caused a bond-market sell-off from investors fearing that QE Infinity — $85 billion in bond purchases every month – was in danger. (Though, they probably don’t have to worry. A survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York predicted that the Fed would continue asset-purchases until the first quarter of 2014.)

For the rest of us there is this question: has the last round of money printing — or for that matter QE I and II,  Operation Twist, or the trillion-dollar stimulus – helped spur a strong recovery? If so, where is it?

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