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Press Release

    Federal Reserve Transparency Working Group Sends Letter to the Senate

    12/03/2009

    Dear Members of the U.S. Senate:
     
    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 total amount of loans made through facilities exceeds the annual budget of the United States. In addition, it guaranteed trillions of dollars of various assets and also made hundreds of billions of dollars available to several foreign central banks through currency swap arrangements.
     
    At this point, neither the public nor members of Congress have 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.
     
    Almost three quarters of the members of the House of Representatives have co-sponsored a bill calling for an audit of the Federal Reserve Board. This audit will allow Congress to assess how the Fed, under the leadership of its chairman Ben Bernanke, performed in this crisis and whether it acted appropriately in its disbursement of an enormous amount of money and guarantees.
     
    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.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Matt Kibbe, president, FreedomWorks
    Grover Norquist, president, Americans for Tax Reform
    Duane Parde, president, National Taxpayers Union
    Ryan Alexander, president, Taxpayers for Common Sense
    Chris Bowers, founder, OpenLeft
    Dean Baker, co-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research
    Robert Borosage, co-director, Campaign for America's Future
    Danielle Brian, executive director, Project On Government Oversight
    Mark Calabria, director of financial regulation studies, Cato Institute
    Mark Cohen, executive director, Government Accountability Project
    Tom DeWeese, president, American Policy Center
    Tyler Durden, founder, Zero Hedge
    Sandra Fabry, executive director, Center for Fiscal Accountability
    Jane Hamsher, founder, FireDogLake
    J. Bradley Jansen, Director ,Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights
    Gary Kalman, Washington director, Public Interest Research Group
    Aaron Swartz, co-founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee
    Phyllis Schlafly, president, Eagle Forum
    John Tate, president, Campaign for Liberty
    John Taylor, CEO, National Community Reinvestment Coalition
    Stephanie Taylor, co-founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee
    Robert Weissman, president, Public Citizen
    Chuck Muth, President, Citizens Outreach
    John Whitehead, president, The Rutherford Institute
    Larry Greenley, Director of Marketing, The John Birch Society
    John Berlau, Director, Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs, Competitive Enterprise Institute
    William Greene, President, RightMarch.com
    David E. Williams, Vice President, Policy, Citizens Against Government Waste
    Andrew Langer, President, Institute for Liberty
    Jim Babka,  President, DownsizeDC.org, Inc.
    James Kenneth Galbraith, economist
    Adam Green, co-founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee
    George Goehl, executive director, National People's Action
    Jim Turner, Chairman, Citizens for Health
    Gary Kalman - Director of the Washington, D.C. Office, U.S. PIRG