The U.S. central bank has once again refused to open itself up to even the slightest amount of transparency. According to Bloomberg news, the Federal Reserve (Fed) Board of Governors is essentially snubbing a request by the Treasury Department for a public review of its structure and governance, even though the review was supposed to be led by the Fed itself.
Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chairman, expressed confidence that the worst recession since the 1930s is almost over. In a speech before a Brookings Institution audience Tuesday morning Bernanke made the guardedly optimistic assessment that the economy likely had begun to grow again. He added that growth would be too slow to prevent unemployment from continuing to rise.
Item: The National Public Radio news blog, “The Two-Way,” reported on August 7: “The relatively good news that the unemployment rate dropped slightly to 9.4 percent in July had President Barack Obama claiming credit for his administration for stabilizing the economy.” The president was quoted saying, in part: “Today, we’re pointed in the right direction…. We’ve rescued our economy from catastrophe.”
At a town hall meeting held in his Massachusetts district, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank provided a surprising response to a constituent’s inquiry about H.R. 1207, Rep. Ron Paul's bill calling for an audit of the Federal Reserve.
News stories on August 19 reported that Neil Barofsky, Special Inspector General (SIG) of the U.S. treasury Department’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), had agreed to audit the $301 billion of federal asset guarantees extended to Citigroup Inc. since last November.