The final holdout in Vermont’s Congressional delegation has finally added his name as a co-sponsor to the Federal Reserve Sunshine Act; all those phone-calls, letters, and petitions worked! Now we’ll see if it can get out of committee sans poison pill or amendment… Below is the announcement letter from the Senator:
Dear Mrs. ______:
Over the past several months, many Vermonters like you have contacted me about S. 604, the Federal Reserve Sunshine Act. In light of the overwhelming interest in this issue, I have decided to become a cosponsor of the bill.
I understand the concerns of some that disclosure of lending information could be a disincentive for banks to borrow from the Federal Reserve because it publicizes their need for an emergency loan. Still, I believe the American people deserve to know the full extent of the government’s lending programs.
In addition, a Federal District Court ruled last month that the Federal Reserve must disclose documents detailing the identities of borrowers and the amounts of loans or the assets put up as collateral under 11 relief programs. I am hopeful that the Federal Reserve will comply with this court order in a timely manner.
Thank you again for contacting me about this bill. Please keep in touch.
Concerned about the economic policies of the Obama administration, which Peter Welch has obediently supported, Dan Weintraub will be challenging him in the 2010 VT Congressional Democratic Primary. In the interview he explains his socially liberal perspectives, in addition to his support for non-Keynesian monetary reform.
I just received an email that a fellow named Dan Weintraub might run for Vermont Congressman Peter Welch’s seat in 2010. A particularly awesome part of his platform:
I will vote against any further stimulus or ill-fated bailout plans. Creating more debt is no way to solve a problem caused in the first place by profligacy, fraud and debt.
I will seek to have former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson indicted for Contempt of Congress.
I will seek to speak truth to all of ways in which the government manipulates data in their effort to perpetuate a money-as-debt system that, through decades of fraud and abuse, has furthered our economic woes.
I will argue for a return to a Gold Standard, for the abandonment of a system of irredeemable fiat currency that, through its abuse, has brought us to the brink of a new economic depression.
I will support true and honest free market Capitalism (In which real risk and real reward exist, and in which businesses succeed and fail without bailouts and free of fraud and undo influence-peddling) whilst simultaneously seeking to expose the fraudulent Ponzi-economy that has made billionaires out of criminals and thieves, and that has left the majority of Americans without monies for their retirements and without a paycheck to pay the rent.
I will seek to end the efforts of Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve to employ ill-fated monetary policy and Quantitative Easing; efforts that continue to push us to the brink of a bond market dislocation and into a new and “greater” economic depression.
I will seek to have the Federal Reserve closed, and Ben Bernanke fired.
I will seek to bring an end to the fraudulent “free trade” efforts of such usurious and exploitative institutions as the IMF and World Bank.
I will ask that ALL members of Congress, including myself, be audited as to the possibility that they have used their political influence to unlawful financial ends. I will ask that independent agencies determine which, if any, officials have acted in bad faith vis-a-vis economic conflicts of interest, and I will demand indictments of those who are found complicit. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IDEOLOGY. This is about keeping government honest and clean.
Check out the full thing at http://weintraub2010.com/. I want to learn a bit more before I can say I’m 100% signing on and endorsing him; however, I’m deeply excited to learn that someone will be calling Welch out on his bailout flip-flop and his shilling for the big banks in the upcoming campaign season.
According to a Reuters article, the Federal Reserve is hiring a lobbyist to “help manage its relations with Congress”. This is truly indicative of the Fed’s unique status as a non-governmental agency, as a government agency is tasked with enacting policy determined by the People’s representatives in Congress, not influencing that policy. Perhaps they’re running scared now that HR 1207 has 190 cosponsors in the House, and Bernie Sanders has introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
However, I’m not sure if their choice of a lobbyist bodes well for their success; they’re hiring Linda Robertson, who was the chief lobbyist for Enron from 2000-2002 (the company’s fraud became apparent in 2001). On the plus side, she has experience defending corrupt, morally detestable institutions, so she should feel right at home at the Federal Reserve. On the other hand, Enron is no longer with us, so she apparently doesn’t have quite the lobbying clout of someone who works for an AIG or Bank of America type institution that was able to secure a Federal bailout when their own fraudulent schemes went south. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if she can salvage the Fed from the terribly fate of transparency. In the meantime, just remember: she’s being paid in freshly “printed” dollars that are making your savings worth less on a daily basis.
The Chinese currency’s challenge to the dollar is finally hitting mainstream media outlets, thanks to a recent editorial by Nouriel “Dr. Doom” Roubini in the NY Times. We at ASR have been watching this unfold for a few months now with growing consternation; hopefully Roubini’s editorial will mean our public officials will have to begin confronting the reality that our Dollar based hegemony is crumbling, and that soon we’ll be as bound by the same economic laws as every other country. We’ve gotten used to diluting our inflation in the ever-growing pool of foreign held dollars; without that outlet, we’re going to have to totally rethink the fiscal policies of the Federal government. Soon, we’re going to have to confront the hard choice: live within our means or experience hyperinflation. We’ve gotten used to having our cake and eating it too; this is going to be a very rude wake-up call for many, many people.
The story has also been picked up by the London Telegraph! Keep the meme spreading!
Matt and Marek spend the first 15 minutes debating the Gay Marriage legislation. Then Jessica Bernier, the creator of the Montpelier Tax Day Tea Party calls in to explain why she feels the event is crucial to our economic health as a state.
The dollar is ‘good as gold’ is an assumption that everyone who is alive in America today has held since they were born, because the saying used to have some truth behind it. We were a nation that did substantially more producing than consuming, which coincidentally, was at the same time when the other developed countries of the world were wiped out by WWII, so leaders representing these industrialized nations got together and decided to peg their currencies to ours. A key element to this original agreement was that at any time, the US would acknowledge a country’s request to convert their dollar holdings into gold, which did back our currency then. Fleeting gold reserves from the US was not a concern for our policy makers, because with such a high demand for dollars, who would want to convert them into the cumbersome metal? So even though every ounce of gold represented a specific number of dollar bills, the value of convenience is what drives people to paper money.
The scenario changed substantially when President Nixon officially took the dollar off the gold standard in 1971. Foreign nations were no longer guaranteed a fixed weight of gold for their dollars, but the demand for dollars continued because it retained the purchasing power accrued from our industrious past. So now, with no immediate foreign obligations, Americans were able to gorge themselves with nearly four decades of consumption, like a Beverly Hills teen taking her daddy’s credit card to the mall. Well China has had enough and is making official proposals that the world find an alternative reserve.
Whether it be the Yuan, or a new currency created by the IMF, it would change the image of America in a drastic way, because currency control is the highest power human beings know how to attain. We do have some time, because unravelling the holdings of US dollars around the world would be an arduous process, but it will certainly happen if the people we have elected to office continue to walk blindly down the road of inflation, thus perpetuating our loss of global credibility.
Marek and I will be discussing the current unraveling of Iceland’s economy, the latest government interventions into the American economy, and will hopefully (should tech problems be resolved) be showing footage from the forum on the bailouts in Rutland. We’ll be on live at 7pm, and if you’re outside of the viewing area and don’t have cable, check us out on ustream.tv. Search for American Socialism for the Rich.