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No Love for Bernanke

Last night, Dave showed that the looming hold on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is no partisan matter, with Rep. Joe “You Lie” Wilson (R-S.C.) and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) also supporting the procedural move by the liberal Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). But that hardly completes the list of strange bedfellows rallying behind the criticism of Bernanke for opposing an audit of the Fed.

Today, an odd group of liberal and conservative policy experts and prognosticators called on the Senate to mandate a Fed audit before appointing Bernanke to a second term.

“In the last two years, the Federal Reserve Board has lent several trillion dollars to banks and other private companies, financial and non-financial institutions through a series of special lending facilities,” the group wrote in a letter.

At this point, neither the public nor members of Congress has any information about who benefited from these loans, guarantees, and swap arrangements. There is no information available on the specific terms of the loans – the interest rate charged, the collateral posted, and whether or not they were repaid. There is no information available on how it was decided who would qualify for the Fed’s help and who would be denied assistance….

Without this audit, Congress lacks the information it needs to evaluate Mr.Bernanke’s performance. Therefore the Senate should delay action on Mr.Bernanke’s reappointment until an audit of the Fed’s books takes place, the results are made available to the Congress and Mr. Bernanke answers a serious inquiry into the actions he took.

Signing the plea were such liberals as Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future. The conservatives included Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, and Phyllis Schlafly, president of the Eagle Forum.

You don’t see these names on the same side of an issue all that often. Then again, it’s not everyday that you have federal officials spending trillions of taxpayer dollars and claiming it dangerous to tell anyone where they’re going.

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